Zhao Xintong out of Snooker Masters in first round

China’s UK champion Zhao Xintong has been knocked out of the Snooker Masters, losing to veteran John Higgins 6-2 on Monday in the opening round in London.

The 24-year-old clinched his maiden title at the UK Championships a month ago, which catapulted him into the top 16 in the world rankings and a berth at the Masters for the first time.

But after a century break in the second frame to draw level with the Scottish player, Zhao didn’t the win another until the seventh, and couldn’t stop four-time world champion Higgins clinching victory in the next frame.