Snooker: Higgins out of Masters after death of father

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The Independent Online

World number one John Higgins has withdrawn from the German Masters in Berlin following the death of his father. John Snr passed away yesterday after a long battle with cancer.

"I am very sorry to have to withdraw from the event but I hope the German fans understand my decision as family comes first," Higgins said.

The Scot had booked his place in the last 16 with a 5-3 win over Snooker Shoot-Out runner-up Robert Milkins, including a break of 143.

Chairman Barry Hearn said: "On behalf of World Snooker I send deepest sympathies to the Higgins family at this sad time."

Higgins' opponent in the next round, Marco Fu, will receive a bye following a 5-1 win over Mark King, in which his highest break was 91.

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