Neil Robertson produced another devastating run of scoring to come from behind and beat Mark Allen 13-7 in the second round of the World Championship in Sheffield.
However, despite adding two more centuries to his season tally, the world no.1 was narrowly unable to reach the landmark century of tons.
Robertson requires only one more break of 100 to make it firmly into the history books as the first player ever to complete the milestone for a single campaign.
The 32 year-old was agonisingly close to recording the feat late in his encounter with Northern Ireland’s Allen as he thoroughly dominated the final session with unreal scoring power in among the balls.
Until midway through the second session, Allen had gone toe-to-toe with the world no.1 and in fact led 7-6 at one point during Sunday evening’s play.
But his opponent went on a rampage, winning seven frames on the trot with breaks of 137, 59, 69, 94 and 92.
The latter four breaks came in this afternoon’s final session in which Allen barely had a sniff as a relentless Robertson surged to victory.
There was minor misery for Robertson, though, as the 94 break ended with a missed black off the spot that would have seen him achieve the unbelievable ton of tons.
In the following frame, the Melbourne man rattled a tricky red along the top cushion when only it and a subsequent black would have been enough to complete the triumph in style.
Not to worry, though, as Robertson now has another best-of-25 encounter to look forward to against either Judd Trump or Ryan Day and the 100 landmark is all but certain to be recorded in that affair.
Statistics aside, the dominating performance from the UK champion sent out a clear message to the rest of the field remaining at the Crucible that he is at the very peak of his powers right now and it will take a special display from a challenger to prevent him capturing his second world title this day next week.
In the other half of the draw, Dominic Dale reached the quarter-final for the first time in 14 years after a convincing 13-4 success over Michael Wasley.
It was always going to be difficult for Gloucester’s Wasley to repeat his heroics over Ding Junhui once more so it was not too much of a surprise to see the experienced Dale ease to a comfortable victory.
Dale played well throughout, knocking in several big breaks including a 106 break in the first session, and will certainly give last year’s runner-up Barry Hawkins a tough battle in the last eight.
This result also had other consequences as Wasley’s exit ensured legend Jimmy White’s status as a professional as he just maintains his place inside the world’s top 64.
Tonight, the remaining two second round matches conclude with Judd Trump leading Ryan Day 10-6 and Marco Fu trailing 2005 champion Shaun Murphy 9-7.