Kyren Wilson and Jack Lisowski moved through the early rounds of the Paul Hunter Classic as the last 16 line-up was completed on Saturday in Germany.
The English pair had been among the favourites to challenge for glory this weekend in Furth after the majority of the marquee names in the sport opted to skip the season’s third ranking event.
Wilson, the second highest ranked player competing at the Stadthalle, wasn’t given much of a challenge as he followed up a 4-2 victory over Chen Feilong with consecutive whitewash wins to reach Sunday’s final day of action.
Lisowski also won a pair of encounters with 4-0 scorelines but required all seven frames to deny China’s Lu Ning in a last 32 decider.
Wilson hasn’t won a ranking event since his maiden triumph at the 2015 Shanghai Masters, with the Kettering cueist twice tasting defeat in a final during the 2017/18 campaign.
The 26 year-old, who reached the semi-finals of the World Snooker Championship in early May, next faces countryman Hammad Miah – a player who has taken advantage of the depleted draw to embark on a run to the last 16 of a ranking event for the first time in his career.
Lisowski, meanwhile, meets Jimmy Robertson and will be hoping to go one better than the runner-up spot he achieved at the outset of this term in the Riga Masters when he was denied a first piece of professional silverware by Neil Robertson.
It has been a breakthrough few months in general for the “Dude”, who looks destined for a place in the elite top 16 of the world rankings at some point in the near future after finally starting to produce the kind of form that his obvious talent merits.
Elsewhere, veteran Mark Davis remains in the hunt after safely manoeuvring his way through the rounds, with the three-time 6 reds world champion set to face Peter Lines for a quarter-final berth.
Davis, now 46 years-old and a professional for almost three decades, has reached five ranking event semi-finals in his career but he might not get a better chance than this one to finally fulfill his ambition in a tournament of this status.
There will be many critics who will lambast the field and the format of this year’s Paul Hunter Classic, perhaps understandably so, but the competitors who have entered have only the opponents in front of them to beat and whoever lands the title on Sunday evening will have deserved his crown.
Daniel Wells and Billy Joe Castle were the two other cueists to advance with one of them now guaranteed a place in the quarter-finals of a ranking event for the first time in their careers.
Top seed Shaun Murphy exited in the opening round after a 4-2 defeat to Fergal O’Brien, meaning there are only two players from the top 32 of the world rankings list left in the hunt for glory.
Former world champion Peter Ebdon is among the eight contenders who progressed from Friday’s action while young teenage sensation Jackson Page represents the last of the 47 amateurs who helped to fill up the draw.
Live coverage is on the Eurosport Player.
Click here to view the draw (Times: CET)