CAFFEINE and coldness ended Jak Jones’ run at the English Open as he went down 5-1 against four-time world champion John Higgins, writes Will Jennings.

The Cwmbran potter was competing at his maiden ranking event quarter-final but a classy performance from the world No.7 dashed his hopes of progression in Milton Keynes.

World No.105 Jones had memorably toppled compatriot Matthew Stevens 4-3 under the Marshall Arena light to progress to the last eight on Thursday.

Knocking back the Red Bulls during that match stopped him sleeping ahead of his battle with Higgins - and the 27-year-old then blasted the temperature as he lost in six frames.

“I didn’t sleep much and slept about two hours last night,” he lamented.

“I was so tired before my match against Matthew Stevens so I was drinking Red Bull, which I would never even drink. It helped me get through that match but cost me my sleep last night!

“I went to the hotel and had loads of people texting me, and I didn’t try to go to sleep until probably 2.

“And then I was asleep by 3 but was awake at about 5. I’m not the only player who’s probably had that problem,but it’s an experience and I’ll learn for it.

“I thought it was so cold out there today - it was absolutely freezing and I couldn't feel my hands.

“Every time I had a slight chance I was totally cold. The air con was just blowing at the table, and I don’t know what they had the air con on. My cue was freezing and my hand was freezing.It was so difficult."

30-time ranking event winner Higgins, chasing a maiden title since the Welsh Open in 2018, rolled back the years as masterful breaks of 79, 71 and 56 floored Jones in the first Home Nations event of the season.

But Jones can take confidence from his impressive run in Milton Keynes, having also beaten world No.15 Jack Lisowski in the second round to steam towards the last eight.

The south Wales star relocated to Sheffield earlier this year to train at the Ding Junhui Snooker Academy, where he’s taken his game to a new level practising alongside 14-time ranking event winner Ding, Noppon Saengkham and Tien Pengfei.

His game’s in the best shape it’s ever been and Jones hopes to target further runs to ranking event quarter-finals and beyond as the season progresses.

“I’m confident now that I can go in forward from this and get to more quarter-finals, semi-finals and final experiences,” he added.

“I’m quite happy with how things have gone this week and it’s no disgrace losing to someone like John so overall, it’s been a good week.

“I just feel totally different as a player now since I moved to Sheffield - I’ve actually got confidence going forward knowing that I’m going in the right direction.

“Hopefully I’ll get many more quarter-final experiences and climb up the rankings as quickly as possible.”

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