Shaun Murphy scored heavily to become the second player to book his place in the semi-finals of the Champion of Champions in Coventry on Tuesday.
The Gibraltar Open winner first saw off the challenge of tournament debutant Mark King in the first round, taking the last three frames for a 4-2 victory over his fellow Englishman.
However, Murphy saved his best snooker for the evening match against Michael White, who had earlier pipped Marco Fu with a superb century in their decider.
It was all about Murphy’s ability to score heavily, though, as he rattled off a hat-trick of tons in quick succession to lead White 3-1 at the mid-session interval.
Despite being so obviously outscored, White held on and took advantage of some of Murphy’s mistakes to keep the encounter close.
The Welshman twice pulled back level, at 3-3 and finally at four frames apiece, before Murphy inflicted the killer blow.
A 93 helped the former world champion to the brink of his triumph and he duly punished a missed opportunity from his opponent in the next for a 6-4 success when an unlikely decider beckoned.
It’s the first time that Murphy has enjoyed any sort of run at the Ricoh Arena, having lost at the opening hurdle in all four of his previous attempts in the invitational event.
The 35 year-old awaits the winner of Wednesday’s quarter of the draw, which is arguably the most difficult of what is a star-studded line-up this week.
Sunday’s International Championship winner Mark Selby will be the favourite but he only arrived back in the UK after his glory in China yesterday, so it’ll be interesting to see if he has the stamina to last two matches in a single day.
The world number one first faces Liang Wenbo before a potential clash against either Judd Trump or Luca Brecel in the quarter-finals.
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