John Higgins could scarcely believe he managed to defeat Ben Woollaston in a deciding frame in a match that almost spilled over into Thursday morning.
The pair needed all seven frames to decide their second round match in the Welsh Open, and at one stage it had looked like Higgins was on course for a straightforward victory.
Breaks of 101, 79 and 58 gave the Scot a 3-1 lead, just a frame away from the third round before Woollaston levelled at 3-3.
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That led to a tense seventh frame where both players had chances before Higgins was eventually able to win 70-68 at 11.57pm on Wednesday night.
Despite the tension, Higgins told Eurosport after the match’s conclusion that it was a satisfying fixture to have been part of - even if he had made some uncharacteristic mistakes.
“It was enjoyable to play in. I had my chances in the last frame, I didn’t know why I didn’t play the red ball for the black. I was thinking the pockets were playing a little bit tight," he said.
“The cushions were springing a little bit. It’s the wrong shot and I deserved to lose, and then Ben done a good break, so I don’t know how I won that game."
Higgins acknowledged the fine margins of his win, not just by a single frame but the manner in which Woollaston’s fluked yellow appeared to tee him up for a win. He explained that he did not think it was an undeserved stroke of luck for his opponent.
“He had a few chances at the end," Higgins continued.
“You think that’s what you deserve, because he was going into the pack earlier on in the game, a few times and not landing anything. So I’m thinking he deserves a bit of running... He'll be gutted, Ben will be gutted.”
Despite the win, Higgins was unsure of his form in the match despite a 95% potting success rate.
“It’s when you’re involved in the game you’re not picking out the good parts, you're picking out the bad parts, but I’m delighted to win," he said.
“If you look over my whole career I’ve probably lost more deciders than I’ve won so that dispels that myth.”
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