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Jack Lisowski breaks Masters duck with John Higgins victory

Jonathan Davies in The Masters

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Lisowski earned his first win at the Masters (PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo)

Jack Lisowski ended his wait for a first Masters victory after seeing off John Higgins 6-3 in the opening round on Monday.

The world number 12 had failed to win on his three previous appearances at snooker’s most prestigious invitational event, with only John Virgo (six), Martin Clark and Joe Swail (both four) appearing more times without success.

But he hit the Jackpot at the fourth attempt, hitting breaks of 100, 93, 88 and 68 on the way to only his third victory in four meetings with Higgins.

Meanwhile, the two-time champion suffered his 14th exit at the last-16 stage (moving level with Dennis Taylor) – more than any other player in Masters history.

Chances came and went for both players in the opening frame before Lisowski drew first blood on the blue, while a swift 68 doubled his lead.

The next four frames were shared. Higgins’ breaks of 142 – the highest of the week – and 79 countered by contributions of 88 and 100 by his opponent.

The Scotsman looked set to reduce the deficit to 4-3 as he built a 55-0 lead in the seventh. But missing a straightforward red to the centre eventually proved costly, Lisowski pouncing on a loose safety escape by clearing from the last red for 5-2.

The left-hander squandered an opportunity to clear for frame and match in frame eight, missing the last red on 31 after Higgins was in first with 65.

But he made no mistake the second time around, a wonderful 93 clearance booking a quarter-final date with Hossein Vafaei.

Seven-time champion Ronnie O’Sullivan sealed his 24th appearance in the last eight with a comprehensive 6-1 victory over Luca Brecel.

After opening with 97, the Rocket could have trailed 2-1 but for poor positional shots from Brecel when in to clear. Instead, he snatched those two frames on the black and pink for a 3-0 lead.

The Belgian, who had won just one of his three previous Masters matches, responded well with a brilliant break of 100 to reduce the deficit at the interval.

But O’Sullivan restored his authority on proceedings with back-to-back centuries of 134 and 104, before a run of 53 sealed the deal.