Neil Robertson’s prolonged his incredible hot streak and joined an exclusive club as he won his second round Welsh Open tie at the Motorpoint Arena on Wednesday.
On Tuesday following his first round victory over Jamie Clarke, the Australian said that he was exhausted and that there was no hope of him winning the tournament this week.
However, Robertson began his last 64 fixture with Mark Joyce with a superb 135 break, extending his career tally of tons to a magnificent 700.
Only three players have managed to record that many before the 38 year-old, who also celebrated his birthday a couple of days ago.
Ronnie O’Sullivan, John Higgins, and Stephen Hendry are ahead of Robertson on the all-time list – making him undoubtedly one of the greatest scorers in the history of the game.
Robertson’s recent form would make him one of the great serial winners too.
The defending Welsh Open champion, who beat Joyce 4-2, came to the Motorpoint Arena on the back of reaching the first three ranking event finals of this decade, winning twice.
The only player to beat Robertson in 2020 so far in a ranking event is German Masters champion Judd Trump, and the world number one remains in contention in Cardiff as well after a comfortable 4-0 triumph over Billy Joe Castle.
Indeed, the majority of the heavy-hitters are still in the hunt for the £70,000 top prize on Sunday.
O’Sullivan came from behind to deny Stuart Carrington a place in the last 32 while record five-time champion Higgins added a brace of late century breaks in beating Ken Doherty 4-1.
Mark Selby, Ding Junhui, Stuart Bingham, and Stephen Maguire are among the other former Welsh Open champions that have survived so far in this year’s edition.
Mark Williams, the last home winner way back in 1999, is also through after a 4-2 victory over Jordan Brown, while countryman Matthew Stevens appears to be playing well as he backed up his defeat of David Gilbert with a strong 4-0 whitewash over Brandon Sargeant.
With Shaun Murphy, Mark Allen, Kyren Wilson, and Jack Lisowski additionally remaining in the draw, it means that for once in a ranking event this season the stars seem to be bringing their A-games to the table at the same time.
Of course, that can all change on Thursday in a Home Nations event as the busy schedule requires the competitors to negotiate two rounds over the course of a single day.
Robertson’s stamina will be sternly tested then as he first takes on Noppon Saengkham before a potential clash against either Welshman Daniel Wells or Gerard Greene.
There are several interesting third round battles to look forward to with Northern Ireland’s Allen in action against the fourth home contender still in with a shot – veteran Dominic Dale.
O’Sullivan faces Anthony Hamilton, Bingham takes on Yan Bingtao, and Stevens meets Zhao Xintong in a few of the other intriguing encounters.
Live coverage from the Motorpoint Arena is on Eurosport and Quest TV.
Click here to view the Welsh Open draw (Times: CET)