Masters 2015: Ding Junhui beaten by Joe Perry, Mark Allen wins

Joe Perry
Perry has never won the Masters
Masters 2015
Dates: 11-18 January. Venue: Alexandra Palace. Coverage: Live on BBC TV and online.

Former champion Ding Junhui was beaten 6-3 by Joe Perry in the first round of the Masters at Alexandra Palace.

England's Perry stroked in breaks of 79 and 104 to lead, before going 4-2 ahead after nicking the sixth frame on the final black.

China's Ding won the next frame by a point, but Perry clinched the two he needed including a century to advance.

Two-time champion John Higgins was knocked out of the tournament after losing 6-4 to Mark Allen.

The match began with real quality, Scotland's Higgins making two centuries and Allen one as the pair were locked at 3-3.

John Higgins at the 2014 Masters

Allen went 5-3 up and although Higgins got one frame back with a break that ended with a missed yellow when on for a 147, the Northern Irishman sealed the win.

"I like to think I am good under pressure, I have good bottle," Allen told BBC Sport after his victory.

"I had it in the back of my mind to stay positive. I have a good record against him recently and he has been struggling."

Higgins has not won a ranking event since the Shanghai Masters in 2012 and his form has declined over the last couple of seasons.

Although he showed flashes of brilliance with three centuries and a 96 in an enthralling encounter, Allen capitalised on his mistakes to progress.

Masters 2015 quarter-final draw
Thursday
13:00 GMT Ronnie O'Sullivan (Eng) v Marco Fu (HK)
19:00 Ali Carter (Eng) v Neil Robertson (Aus)
Friday
13:00 Joe Perry (Eng) v Mark Allen (NI)
19:00 Stephen Maguire (Sco) v Shaun Murphy (Eng)
See the full schedule and results for the tournament

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