Mehta and Advani Continue Indian Runs

Indian duo Pankaj Advani and Aditya Mehta have continued their excellent run in their home event, the Indian Open in New Dehli. 

After coming through qualification, the pair recorded their third win of the tournament and second this week to reach the Last 16. 

Eight-time world billiards champion Advani’s victory, in particular, was impressive as he beat in-form Mark Allen in a scrappy affair 4-2. 

His compatriot Mehta, the World Games gold medalist, enjoyed a 4-1 success over English rookie Hammad Miah. 

The results mean that they are now tantalizingly close to a dream quarter-final contest, should they both overcome one more obstacle in the fourth round. 

That wont be easy, though, with the pair set to face two former ranking event champions. 

Mehta’s task, in particular, will prove a difficult one as he prepares to take on two-time world champion Mark Williams, who played well in defeating Mark Selby 4-1 with the aid of a century break. 

Williams endured a tough time last season but has steadied the ship during this campaign as he hopes to fight his way back into the Top 16 before the Masters. 

Advani, meanwhile, will do battle with Stuart Bingham after the Englishman ousted Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon 4-2. 

Elsewhere, most of the results went true to form. 

World no. 1 Neil Robertson earned a 4-2 triumph over Rod Lawler and will play a resurgent Liang Wenbo, who has shown signs of improvement of late following his run to the semi-finals of the second Asian Tour event. 

Another Chinese playing well of late is Ding Junhui, and the Shanghai Masters champion came from 3-1 down to Mark Joyce to nick his second successive decider of the week. 

Ding’s next bout is arguably the clash of the round as the 26 year-old takes on Scotland’s John Higgins, who, unlike Ding, has reached this stage without yet conceding a frame. 

Two young pros producing solid form are England’s Robbie Williams and Gary Wilson. 

Williams saw off Andrew Higginson 4-1 while Wilson compiled the highest break of the tournament so far, a 137, en route to a superb 4-3 win over Marco Fu. 

Wilson will play Michael White while Williams has Mike Dunn between him and his maiden quarter-final appearance in a ranking event. 

Dunn was close to packing in the game at the end of last season when he had failed to win a match in over a year. 

But thing’s have turned around for the veteran and he is currently battling hard to stay inside the world’s top 64, and therefore remain on the tour for next season. 

The last 16 round is completed with matches between Mark Davis and Stephen Maguire, and Joe Perry and Anthony McGill – with the latter knocking out the last remaining Irishman in Fergal O’Brien. 

There are only two days left in the tournament and today will see the competition whittled down to the last four. 

The full draw can be viewed by clicking here.

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