Judd Trump edged Luca Brecel 5-3 in the second round of the German Masters as the action continued on Thursday at the Tempodrom in Berlin.
The world champion emerged from a high-scoring battle with the Belgian to reach the quarter-finals for the seventh time.
Both former finalists, Brecel compiled a brace of tons to keep up with the world number one.
However, the 24 year-old lost a crucial sixth frame when he looked like restoring parity and Trump subsequently stemmed off a late revival to advance to the next round.
Trump will be an enormous favourite to reach the final from the bottom half of the draw, with the Englishman representing the sole remaining member from the top 16 within the bracket.
The Englishman will face Michael Georgiou next after the former Shoot Out champion edged Akani Songsermsawad by the same margin.
Elsewhere, Graeme Dott overcame Mark Williams 5-2 in what was a repeat of their 2018 final in Berlin.
The Welshman easily triumphed on that day but it’s Dott who stays in contention this year, with the Scot up against Matthew Selt next.
Meanwhile, the round of 32 was also completed earlier in the day with the likes of 2014 winner Ding Junhui and four-time world champion John Higgins crashing out in deciders.
The latter constructed breaks of 138, 134, 88, and 74 but could not prevent Robbie Williams eking out a 5-4 scoreline.
Ding, on the other hand, couldn’t make a break above 59 but still managed to throw away a 4-2 advantage as he lost to Scott Donaldson for the second event on the trot.
🗣 “If I get in it, great!”
Scott Donaldson is looking to cement his spot in next week’s Coral World Grand Prix by solidifying his top 32 status on the one-year list!
— World Snooker Tour (@WeAreWST) January 30, 2020
Neil Robertson and Shaun Murphy are the only members of the elite from the top half of the draw left, meaning the German Masters has turned into yet another ranking event on the calendar in which the so-called stars have struggled.
The pair easily outplayed their opponents with respective 5-1 victories and Robertson, in particular, appears to be the man to beat at present following his glory in last week’s European Masters.
Gary Wilson, Zhao Xintong, Elliot Slessor, and Mitchell Mann were the others to safely negotiate their opening hurdles in Berlin.
This year’s edition of the German Masters is important for more reasons than simply the title and the £80,000 top prize that goes with it.
As part of the inaugural European Series, players will be hoping to perform well in order to put themselves in with a chance of a £150,000 bonus come the end of the four counting tournaments that also included last week’s European Masters as well as the upcoming Shoot Out and Gibraltar Open.
The German Masters is additionally the last event that will influence the Race to the World Grand Prix, with the top 32 in the one-year rankings set to qualify for Cheltenham next week.
On Friday, the second round concludes before an exciting evening session ensues in which all four quarter-final ties are played at once.