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John Higgins blasts “terrible” table conditions at the Players Championship

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John Higgins will miss the German Masters (Photo by ChinaImages/SIPA USA/PA Images)

John Higgins has branded the table conditions at the Players Championship in Southport as “terrible” despite coming through his First Round match on Tuesday.

Higgins defeated fellow Scotsman Graeme Dott 6-2 but did not hold back over his comments on the playing conditions in the arena in his post-match interview.

The 44-year-old claimed the baulk end of the table had been propped up due to an uneven floor, forcing the two players to cue upwards on certain shots.

“I don’t know what will happen to me with what I’m going to say but it’s terrible the table we were playing on there,” Higgins told ITV Sport.

“It was packed up so high at the baulk end.

“When me and Graeme came to the table and played a couple of shots we said “what’s going on here?”.

“It was packed about six inches higher.

“For the likes of me and Graeme, small people, it probably affects us more than most and I think it got to the two of us.”

The pair were locked level at two apiece after a low-scoring first session, before Higgins reeled off four consecutive frames with high breaks of 84 and 60 to wrap up victory.

The four-time World Champion believes Table Two, which is directly adjacent to the main televised table, should not have been cleared for play.

He added: “The table was really reactive, so at two-each, the two of us were gutted with the way we were performing but I think I came back out and played a bit better but Graeme stayed at that level.

“It could have quite easily been Graeme that went through because it was a tough match.

“It shouldn’t be allowed. It shouldn’t have been cleared by the table fitters or the people at World Snooker.

“It’s like a 6ft 5 goalie playing in bigger goals, they can adapt to it ok, but for a 5ft 11 goalie, it would just be alien to them.”

Higgins will now face either top seed Judd Trump or newly-crowned Shoot-Out champion Michael Holt in the Quarter-Finals.

Elsehwhere, Joe Perry knocked out World Grand Prix champion Neil Robertson 6-4 despite three century breaks from the Australian.