Improvement needed to beat O'Sullivan - Higgins
John Higgins feels that an improvement in his game will be needed to beat Ronnie O'Sullivan in their quarter final clash at the Masters on Friday night.
Two-time Masters champion Higgins was far from convincing in his thrilling clash with Mark Allen on Wednesday night - a match he eventually came through 6-5.
The 45-year-old Scot looked in fine fettle in the early exchanges of his opener, but as the winning line approached things got nervy and he allowed Allen to come back from 5-3 down to force a decider.
Had Allen not missed a crucial brown in the final frame, Higgins may well have been on his way home. But 'The Wizard of Wishaw' is one of the all-time greats on the green baize and showed all of his class with a brilliant break of 59, which proved to be a match-winner.
However, the four-time world champion knows a tough test awaits in seven-time Masters winner and current world champion O'Sullivan.
Speaking to World Snooker after his win over Allen, Higgins said: "I know there is no crowd there, but personally I felt the nerves just as much as I would at a packed Alexandra Palace. It was a great buzz to get over the line there.
"I've always had a friendly rivalry with Ronnie. I respect him an unbelievable amount.
"To still be playing these sort of matches, I'm over the moon. To get to the semi-finals I know I may have to play even better than tonight.
"I didn't see any of his game, but apparently he played brilliantly and Ding played well as well. I will just need to come in and play my A game."
Higgins is 2.75 to beat O'Sullivan on Friday night, 'The Rocket' is priced up at 1.44.
Higgins is 1.83 for the £250,000 title and O'Sullivan is 3334.00.
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