Gloucester snooker ace Rob Milkins scored the best win of his 11-year professional career today, beating world champion John Higgins 5-3 to reach the 2012 Haikou World Open semi finals in China.

He will now face fellow West Country man, Stephen Lee of Trowbridge, who beat Graeme Dott 5-1.

Milkins, who turns 36 on Tuesday, raced into a 2-0 lead with breaks of 117 and 97.

Higgins hit back with a 67 and a brilliant 136 to level the game at 2-2 at the mid-session interval.

But after the world champion led 42-0 in the next, Milkins stole it with a 75 clearance to go 3-2 up, then took the next to move within a frame of victory.

Higgins hit back with a 91 in the next to make it 4-3, but a break of 48 paved the way for Milkins to celebrate a famous victory.

It is the second major semi-final of Milkins’ career, having reached the last four of the 2005 Irish Masters. His last quarter final appearance was in the 2009 Grand Prix.

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