Shaun Murphy became the latest player to upset the odds after defeating reigning Masters champion Judd Trump in London on Tuesday.
In what was billed as the tie of the first round, Murphy won the last four frames to secure a 6-3 success over his fellow Englishman.
Trump’s three frames produced a hat-trick of century breaks but the world number one appeared to lose concentration as the match progressed.
The world champion had been the heavy favourite to defend his crown at the Alexandra Palace, particularly after a bundle of his rivals exited in the opening two days.
Yet, Trump’s loss adds to the casualties already suffered by Neil Robertson, Mark Selby, Ding Junhui, and Mark Allen.
Murphy, a former Masters champion himself, will be one of the highly-fancied contenders now with the top half of the draw looking rather open.
The “Magician” wasn’t at his best either and, like his esteemed opponent, made several unforced errors, including missing a lot of routine pots.
Murphy was annihilated when these two last crossed paths in the final of the International Championship last summer.
However, the 2005 world champion was never discouraged despite losing three out of the opening five frames to breaks of 128, 119, and 116 from Trump.
Murphy’s 77 clearance in the sixth frame proved a pivotal turning point as he restored parity when it looked as though Trump was about to create some breathing space.
The trend continued in the next couple of frames as Murphy punished more mistakes to move to within the brink of victory.
Trump had lost all momentum by this point and Murphy looked comfortable as he completed the win.
The 2015 Masters champion will face Joe Perry in the quarter-finals and has arguably become the favourite for the title, although that tag is possibly unwanted with the way things have transpired.
It’s an incredible statistic that all five first round matches have resulted in victories for the lower ranked player.
Barry Hawkins will be attempting to continue the trend later on Tuesday evening when he takes on two-time winner John Higgins.
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