John Higgins expects to have to up his game substantially when he takes on Chinese rising star Yan Bingtao in the third round of the UK Championship.
Higgins was far from his best as he squeezed past Cao Yupeng 6-4 in the second round in York and the Scot is well aware that Bingtao is a man in form, having come within a frame of claiming the Northern Ireland Open title.
I think everyone rates Bingtao really highly, he could very well win the tournament this week.John Higgins
He told World Snooker: "I was rubbish. I wasn't happy with my cue tip and when I was hitting balls it was gone, that can happen with tips sometimes.
"I can't play any worse than that and if I went out with the same tip on Tuesday I would be lucky to win a frame.
"I think everyone rates Bingtao really highly, he could very well win the tournament this week, so I'm going to have to play 100 times better to have a chance of beating him.
"He's probably going to be on the big stage for the next 20 years. He believes that he can win and you don't get that in a lot of young players."
Higgins is priced at 4/6 to defeat Bingtao, with the Chinese right-hander available at 6/5 to claim victory and 8/1 to do so by a 6-3 scoreline.
Meanwhile, five-time champion Ronnie O'Sullivan had few problems as he booked his place in the third round with a 6-1 win over world Michael Georgiou.
2008 champion Shaun Murphy was given a major scare before he prevailed in a final-frame decider against Liam Highfield.
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