Higgins battles through

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The Independent Online

John Higgins finished like a champion, after making a poor start, to beat Canada's Alain Robidoux 6-4 in the semi-finals of the Sweater Shop International Open in Swindon last night.

Robidoux missed a simple pink for a 5-1 lead, Higgins cleared up with a 51 break to make it 4-2 and never looked back. The 20-year-old Scot, who is the defending champion, took command and wrapped up the match with a clearance of 144, beating his own 129 as the best break of the televised stages.

"I was delighted with the 144 but the 51 clearance pleased me more," Higgins said. "I was shaking all the way through and I knew that if I could get the frame I had a chance of winning the match."

Rod Lawler won a dramatic 35-minute deciding frame to reach the final at the expense of the giant-killer Nick Pearce, winning 6-5 in 4hr 33 min.