Mark Allen produced an upset to defeat John Higgins at the 2017 Masters Snooker, prevailing in a titanic final-frame battle to win 6-5 at Alexandra Palace, London, on Monday.
The pair battled valiantly through the early session. Higgins took the opening advantage, but Allen accelerated as he fought back to eliminate the 41-year-old former world champion.
The deciding frame had fans on the edges of their seats, with Higgins needing snookers to survive, but the Northern Irish player hauled himself over the line after missing a brown ball to win the match.
Joe Perry made light work of 2015 world champion Stuart Bingham in the evening session, defeating his opponent 6-1 to progress.
Here are Monday's confirmed results:
|Masters Snooker 2017: Monday Results|
|Mark Allen||6-5||John Higgins|
|Joe Perry||6-1||Stuart Bingham|
Here's what the rest of the first-round draw looks like:
|Masters Snooker 2017 Draw: Round 1|
|Tuesday, January 17||1 p.m.||Judd Trump vs. Marco Fu|
|Tuesday, January 17||7 p.m.||Neil Robertson vs. Allister Carter|
|Wednesday, January 18||1 p.m.||Mark Selby vs. Mark Williams|
|Wednesday, January 18||7 p.m.||Shaun Murphy vs. Barry Hawkins|
For the potential quarter-final draw in full, visit BBC Sport.
Allen pulled off a stunning victory against Scottish legend Higgins, as the drama arrived thick and fast at the Ally Pally in the capital.
The Antrim-born talent initially struggled in the opening two frames as Higgins took control.
The Scotsman—who is a two-time winner of the Masters tournament—grabbed a 2-0 lead, sinking a majestic break of 111.
However, Allen made a break of 51, wrestling back the initiative to level the scores at 2-2 at the mid-session break.
Allen appeared a motivated individual after the return, and he monopolised the table as Higgins was stuck in his seat.
The Scot had made it 3-2 in his favour, but the Pistol found his flow and sunk a century to claim the lead for the first time in the encounter, per World Snooker:
The closing frames were a chess match, with Higgins slowing down the play to limit his opponent's pace.
Higgins edged the eighth frame to pull one back, but a draw in the next saw a rare respotted black, allowing Allen to obtain the advantage once more.
World Snooker provided footage as Allen took a huge step toward victory:
World Snooker @WorldSnooker1
And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win a respotted black! 😎 Sensational! #DafabetMasters https://t.co/skgA2BDRdj2017-1-16 15:58:18
A break of 77 once again witnessed the four-time world champion back on terms, forcing the match into a deciding frame in front of a packed house.
World Snooker highlighted the buoyant atmosphere as Higgins battled back:
World Snooker @WorldSnooker1
This match has the Palace absolutely rocking! 🙌 #DafabetMasters https://t.co/cewUxizczX2017-1-16 16:13:54
The veteran did not have enough in the tank to complete his recovery, and he needed snookers to elongate his chances.
Allen missed a simple brown-ball pot to win the match, but Higgins' safety finally collapsed, allowing his opponent a path into the quarter finals.
The defeat will be a huge disappointment to the Wizard of Wishaw, who crashed out at the same stage last year.
Allen was a worthy winner, producing high-caliber snooker just at the right moment to stun the legend.
in the evening match, Perry was in solid form as he advanced to the next stage, beating Bingham 6-1 with plenty of gas left in the tank.
The Fen Potter was always in control and made a 116 break in the opening frame, but the former world champion hit back with a stunning clearance of 132.
That was as good as it got for Ball-run, and Perry captured the final four frames with little fuss or bluster.