John Higgins looks to end his losing streak against Tom Ford when the pair lock horns in the Scottish Open quarter-finals on Friday.
The last Scotsman remaining, the four-time World champion is also the only member of the top 16 still standing in his home event.
A two-time Scottish Open finalist since the introduction of the Home Nations Series in 2016 and 2021 – losing out to Marco Fu and Luca Brecel respectively – Higgins will be eager to go the extra step this time around.
He dropped just a single frame in his victories over Oliver Brown and He Guoqiang, before battling past Ricky Walden in a deciding frame and seeing off Lyu Haotian 4-2.
The world number 12 is yet to make a century this week, but has produced 13 breaks over 50 to move within one more win of reaching his fourth semi-final of the season.
But to do so, he must stop the rot against Ford, who has certainly had the 48-year-old’s number in recent seasons.
Higgins won each of the first seven meetings meeting the players. However, excluding the Championship League, the Leicester cueist has turned the tables by prevailing in the last five – including a resounding 5-0 whitewash at last year’s European Masters.
Ford is gearing up for his fourth quarter-final of the campaign, in which he was runner-up to Zhang Anda at the International Championship last month, having beaten Liam Highfield, Ding Junhui and Martin O’Donnell this week.
Although, this is only his third appearance in the last eight of a Home Nations Event – also achieving the feat at the 2019 English Open and 2021 Welsh Open.
Victory here would boost his hopes of finally claiming that first ranking title, but Higgins will not lie down as he looks to end his near three-year wait for such success.
The winner of this match will play either Noppon Saengkham or Sanderson Lam in this year’s Scottish Open semi-finals.
Play gets under way at 7pm GMT on Friday and will be contested over the best of nine frames at the Meadowbank Sports Centre in Edinburgh.
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