Snooker: Higgins thrashed by Lee

Title-holder John Higgins was thrashed 9-2 by Stephen Lee in the quarter-finals of the UK Championship in York.

Title-holder John Higgins was thrashed 9-2 by Stephen Lee in the quarter-finals of the UK Championship in York.

The damage was done for the Scot in the opening session when he fell 7-1 behind.

And a break of 60 by Lee, his sixth half-century of the contest, put him on the verge of a famous triumph.

Although Higgins stayed alive with his highest contribution of the match, a mere 44, it was all over in the next frame as Lee knocked in an 87 to reach the last four.

Lee has arguably been the star of the snooker circuit so far this season having won the LG Cup in Preston and produced a consistent series of high-quality performances.

He said: "John missed a few balls in the first session and it certainly wasn't the best he's ever played.

"I couldn't quite believe I was 7-1 up and came back thinking that if I could just share the first four frames, I was over the line.

"I'm glad he didn't come back because if he had, I would have started doubting myself and it would have worn me out for my next game."

Higgins was clearly ashamed of his performance and quickly rushed off to return home to Wishaw and see his two-month-old son.

"It's embarrassing to be sitting here talking about a 9-2 scoreline," said the world number three.

"I've got three titles to my credit but you're only as good as your last tournament.

"I have to go back to basics, buckle down and try to have a better second half of the season."

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