Masters snooker: Neil Robertson & John Higgins through to quarter-finals

Neil Robertson
Robertson beat Graeme Dott to win the 2010 World Championship

Former world champion Neil Roberton defeated Mark Allen 6-3 to book a place in the quarter-finals of the Masters at Alexandra Palace.

The left-hander took four successive frames from 3-2 down, with a century break in the process, and will play Welshman Mark Williams on Friday.

Current world champion John Higgins also advanced to the last eight, beating Matthew Stevens 6-2.

Higgins, who began with a break of 90, won three frames in a row to progress.

He will play either Ali Carter or fellow Scot Graeme Dott in the quarter-finals on Thursday.

The world number three has previously won the tournament twice but crashed out at the first round stage to Dott last year.

"I was a little bit nervous," said Higgins, who praised the event's new venue.

"It's the first competitive snooker I've played since the UK Championships last month.

"I always felt overawed at Wembley. It was such a massive area. I won it twice, but I've lost about seven or eight first-round games.

"Here, you're not as close as the Crucible, but it is an enclosed area and it gets a big thumbs up from me."

Allen had gone 2-1 ahead against Robertson with a break of 124 - the 134th century of his career.

He seemed set for a 3-1 advantage but missed a long green, and from 52 points behind Robertson made it all-square at the interval with a clearance of 77.

The Australian put himself firmly in control after the resumption by opening a two-frame cushion.

After Robertson's 100 break, Allen had a chance to level at 4-4 but missed a straightforward red into the centre pocket on 53 and Robertson cleared up again with a 71.

An 80 was enough to wrap up victory for Robertson, who atoned for his quarter-final defeat against the Northern Irishman last year.

"The frame I won to go 5-3 up was the key turning point in the match," he said.

"I 100% support the decision to move away from Wembley Arena. I know it's hard to replicate the atmosphere of the Conference Centre. I was lucky enough to play there, and I played Jimmy White in front of 2,000 people and it was an electric atmosphere.

"The Arena never had the same atmosphere at all. It's been sell-outs nearly every match here so it's been fantastic. These are the sort of matches which generally bring the best out of the top players, so this is all we want.

"There was a guy tonight with a yellow shirt with Thunder written on it so it's good to have a bit of support here. Obviously I will need it if I can get through against Williams because I'll have either Judd or Ronnie. You know the crowd will get right behind those two so it would be nice to have some support out there. Anyone wearing an Aussie hat or an Aussie shirt I will treat them to a pint."

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