World number one John Higgins has withdrawn from the German Masters in Berlin following the death of his father.
John senior passed away this morning following a long battle with cancer, with his son pulling out of the competition as a result.
“I am very sorry to have to withdraw from the event but I hope the German fans understand my decision as family comes first,” Higgins said.
The Scot had this morning booked his place in the last 16 with a 5-3 win over Snooker Shootout runner-up Robert Milkins, including a break of 143.
“On behalf of World Snooker I send deepest sympathies to the Higgins family at this sad time,” said chairman Barry Hearn.
Higgins‘ opponent in the next round, Marco Fu, will receive a bye following his 5-1 win over Mark King.
Fu was rarely troubled by King as he rattled off four frames in a row after a tight opening, posting a highest break of 91.
He was in no mood to celebrate afterwards, though, saying: “After finding out the news about John’s father, it puts things into perspective and all the players will be thinking of him and wish him well.”
In the day‘s other early games, Mark Williams beat Anthony McGill 5-1, while Stephen Maguire overcame Daniel Wells 5-2.