O'Sullivan and Higgins out of UK Championship

Ronnie O'Sullivan and John Higgins both crashed out of the williamhill.com UK Championship on a high-class day of action in York.

Ronnie O'Sullivan and John Higgins both crashed out of the williamhill.com UK Championship on a high-class day of action in York.

Higgins saw fellow Scot Stephen Maguire to race into a 5-1 lead in this evening's match and his valiant comeback proved in vain as Maguire completed a 6-4 win.

But O'Sullivan captured the headlines as his 6-5 defeat to Judd Trump led him to consider - not for the first time - his future in the sport.

O'Sullivan's two-year wait for a ranking event title went on despite breaks of 85, 114, 83 and 69.

But the Essex cueman, who turned 36 yesterday, was keen to discuss matters away from the baize.

Having gone through public battles with depression, O'Sullivan's mindset has always been one of snooker's talking points, but he says the penny has finally dropped as to why he has gone through such turmoil.

"I thought I applied myself today, I feel in a good place and I don't want to take the shine off Judd but I seriously can't see me having much longer playing," O'Sullivan said.

"Even though I'm in a good frame of mind, I don't want to feel how I feel when I play. My game is not up to scratch, where I would like it to be or where it used to be.

"It's not even playing, it's how I feel in between matches and tournaments. It leaves me feeling quite nervy and anxious and I feel like I've had enough of the anxious moments.

"I want to enjoy my life, I'm 36 and I would like to meet somebody and share my time with someone. When I'm feeling the way I feel between tournaments I find that very difficult to happen. I think there's more to life, or there is for me."

Trump, whose win included breaks of 68, 64, 76 and 98, said: "I think I got outplayed, my safety wasn't great and I let him in first in over half of the frames.

"I got a little bit lucky to still be in the match but it's always nice to be in the last stages."

Higgins followed O'Sullivan out of the tournament after leaving himself with a mountain to climb.

Frame one could have gone either way as Higgins, needing a snooker, forced an unfortunate in-off from his opponent. However, he carelessly returned the compliment and Maguire took the frame.

He doubled his lead with the highest break of the tournament so far, a 144 sparked by a superb long red, then calmly cleared the colours to prevent Higgins pinching frame three.

Higgins finally got on the board in the fourth as a plant set up a break of 60 and Maguire failed to get the two snookers he required.

Breaks of 57 and 66 after the interval helped Maguire move 5-1 up but Higgins salvaged some pride with a 101 in frame seven and cleared with 54 to cut the gap to two frames.

The comeback continued apace with a 95 clearance to leave Higgins just 5-4 behind but he overcut a black in the next and Maguire made a match-winning 70.

Ding Junhui saw off the 2003 champion Matthew Stevens in another 6-5 thriller.

Ding led 2-1 before Stevens levelled with a 92 - but the Chinese star produced a 133 to regain the initiative.

The breaks kept on coming, Ding with runs of 76 and 65 while Stevens compiled 65, 67 and 72 as the match reached 5-5.

But Stevens broke down on 24 in the decider, allowing Ding to take the match with a 63 clearance.

Neil Robertson beat fellow former world champion Graeme Dott in the evening's other game.

Robertson took the first and, after Dott levelled via a re-spotted black, the Australian regained the initiative with a break of 71 in frame three and was gifted a topsy-turvy fourth.

Dott missed a frame-ball red into the middle pocket after a break of 56 and though Robertson's first chance slipped away with poor positional shots to yellow and green, he eventually got over the line to take a 3-1 interval lead.

Dott battled his way over the line in frame five but Robertson took the next and moved to the brink of victory by sneaking frame seven, theatrically patting his heart after the final black wobbled in the jaws before dropping.

Dott stayed in the match after taking frame eight on the black and got in first with 60 in the next, but he missed a difficult long red and Robertson produced a tremendous clearance of 68 to progress to the last eight.

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