Ricky Walden ended the hopes of a nation as he knocked out home favourite Aditya Mehta out of the Indian Open on Thursday.
The International Championship winner withstood a spirited comeback from the 2013 runner-up, who won two frames from 3-0 down but couldn’t force a decider as Walden advanced into the last 16.
All of the higher seeds left in the draw safely negotiated the second round with an upcoming clash between Judd Trump and Mark Williams the standout tie of round three.
Both players required all seven frames to move one step closer to another ranking event triumph.
Australian Open champion Trump, hampered by an injured shoulder, laboured to a 4-3 victory over amateur Adam Duffy while Williams, encouraged by some promising performances of late, was much more fluent in his narrow win over Peter Ebdon.
The Welshman knocked in breaks of 127, 106, 69 and 52 to deny his fellow former world champion.
Another conqueror of the Crucible in Graeme Dott ended Ireland’s David Morris’ run with a comfortable 4-0 rout while his Scottish compatriot John Higgins also advanced with a 4-2 victory over Jamie Cope.
Higgins continues his good run of form that saw him lift the Welsh Open trophy only a couple of weeks ago, and must be highly fancied now to go on and make it a ranking event double.
Elsewhere, tour veterans Mark Davis, Joe Perry and Robert Milkins all won to keep alive their hopes of landing a maiden ranking success.
It was a good day for some of the younger competitors too with widely tipped Kyren Wilson, along with fellow Englishman Chris Wakelin, enjoying 4-1 wins.
Buoyed by his deciding frame victory over Ding Junhui, Thailand’s Thepchaiya Un-Nooh romped to a 4-0 drubbing of 20 year-old Luca Brecel – ending the match with a superb 137.
Un-Nooh will play Welshman Jamie Jones for a place in the quarter-finals while countryman Michael White, Chinese duo Tian Pengfei and Li Hang, and 1995 World Championship runner-up Nigel Bond rounded off the winners on day three in Mumbai.
Two rounds are contested on Friday as the event picks up pace so we’ll know the four semi-finalists by the end of the day’s play.