‘Only myself to blame’ – Mark Allen on World Championship exit to John Higgins

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Comment on the photo, Allen missed the crucial red in the deciding frame as Higgins completed the comeback victory

Mark Allen admits he “only has myself to blame” after his dreams of winning a maiden world championship were ended for another year by rookie John Higgins.

Northern Irishman Allen led 10-7 in Monday evening’s session before Higgins hit back with three straight frames to level the second-round match.

After they shared the next four frames, Allen missed a crucial red point with the rest in the deciding frame, allowing the Scot to produce a brilliant clearance of the match.

“It had a little bit of everything, some good, some not so good,” Allen said.

“I had more than enough chances to win it and it’s thanks to John, he does what John does and makes it clear in the deciding frame.

“I only blame myself. I had a lot of opportunities and I didn’t take them.”

Allen, a World Championship semi-finalist last year, comes to the Crucible at the end of an impressive campaign that saw him win three titles.

But while the 38-year-old is left to contemplate further disappointment in the sporting extravaganza, four-time champion Higgins can look forward to a quarter-final against Kyren Wilson.

Allen believes Higgins – who last won the rankings title three years ago – still has the potential to capture his fifth world title, 13 years after his fourth.

“He’s one of the good guys on tour,” Allen said of Higgins.

“I’ve been saying that for a very long time. He’s very competitive. He wants to win and obviously wants to get back into the top 16.

“But there are bigger and better things ahead for John Huggins if he believes in himself because he is one of the few who can go on and win this tournament.

“I think there are only two couples who can win the title and he is one of them.”

“I know I am capable of doing more”

As well as admitting he was “devastated” by the way he played, Allen also said he was unhappy with his overall performance this season.

“It’s been another very consistent season without being amazing,” the world number three said.

“I played really well in the Champion of Champions tournament but other than that it wasn’t good enough to be completely honest.

“I’m still fine. I’m number three in the general classification and I’m doing well, but I don’t want to be fine, I want to be much better because I know I’m capable of it. Of more.”

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