It’s the last 32 today of the snooker Northern Ireland Open in Belfast. Higgins, Hamilton, Kurt Maflin and Michael White have all progressed to the last 16 so far today
John Higgins continued his campaign to win three consecutive titles in a row after beating Zhou Yuelong in the last 32. Although Higgins won 4-0, it was a scrappy affair with both players failing to make any sizable breaks. The experienced Higgins had far superior safety over Zhou which opened up more opportunities. As a result Higgins was able to secure a 4-0 win.
John Higgins is playing some of the best snooker of his career. The past couple of weeks have been a dream come true for him, firstly winning the China Champions, then the Champion of Champions and a 147 break yesterday.
Elsewhere it was a bad day for the Irish as Ken Doherty lost to Anthony Hamilton and Josh Boileau lost out to Kurt Maflin. Also progressing to the last 16 was Michael White who hit some form against Luca Brecel, making 2 century breaks.
Most of the snooker matches seen in the past 24 hours have been scrappy and lacking in high breaks. Some players have complained that the table is playing heavy. It’s currently unclear if the table is due a recovering before the semi finals take place. The players seem to love this venue here at the Titanic centre in Belfast with enthusiastic crowds who love their snooker.
This afternoon Ronnie O’Sullivan is up against Zhang Anda in the last 32. O’Sullivan is the overwhelming favourite to win this match and could possibly win here this week with the withdrawals of some of the other big names in snooker.
Later today local hero Mark Allen is back on the baize as he takes on Robin Hull. In his previous matches Allen has struggled to find form but he has the home advantage over Hull with lots of supporters cheering him on.