Higgins starts well in York

29 November 2017 23:05:37 GMTPlus11

John Higgins thinks Chris Totten has a great future in the game after beating the Scottish teenager 6-1 in the first round of the UK Championship.

Higgins, who has won the tournament three times, is currently at number five in the world rankings and believes his 18-year-old compatriot can also enjoy great success in the game.

He said: "The experience will stand Chris in good stead. He's got two years on the tour now to try to cement his place.

"He's already beaten Neil Robertson this season and it was in the back of my mind that he's not frightened to beat the top players. Everyone talks about the Chinese youngsters coming through so it would be good to have a few British boys as well."

The big shock on the first day in York was Ding Junhui's 6-5 defeat to the world number 130 Leo Fernandez.

Ding led 5-1 at one stage, but the world number three, who won the UK Championship in 2005 and 2009, capitulated as the 41-year-old Fernandez won five frames in a row to confirm his place in the second round.

"It's my best moment in snooker for sure," said Fernandez afterwards. "At 5-1 down I was thinking about the train journey home. I tried to stay calm and enjoy it."

Elsewhere, Ryan Day thrashed Jamie Curtis-Barrett 6-0, while Kyren Wilson made two century breaks as he beat Sean O'Sullivan 6-1.

Stephen Maguire cruised to a 6-1 victory over Yuan Sijun and Yan Bingtao defeated Zhang Yong by the same scoreline.

Zhao Xintong edged out Rory McLeod 6-5 and Marco Fu top secured a 6-2 victory against Nigel Bond.

Neil Robertson is 1/9 to win his first-round match against Rod Lawler while Ronnie O'Sullivan is 1/100 to come out on top against Jackson Page.

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