There were victories and defeats in equal measure for the most fancied competitors in Milton Keynes.
The second round of the English Open took place on Wednesday with many of the top seeds struggling to make it through to the next stage.
Defending champion Mark Selby and world number one Judd Trump had to fight back from behind to maintain their hopes of glory at the weekend.
The latter retrieved a 3-1 deficit for the second successive encounter, this time reeling off breaks of 73, 83, and 67 to see off the challenge of teenager Yuan Sijun.
Selby overcame another Chinese competitor in similar fashion, claiming the last two frames with runs of 74 and 125 to deny Chang Bingyu.
World champion Ronnie O’Sullivan was also tested but emerged from a potentially tricky tie against Ryan Day unscathed.
John Higgins, Neil Robertson, and Kyren Wilson were among the other marquee names to safely reach the last 32.
China’s Ding Junhui advanced too with a high-scoring 4-1 defeat of Luca Brecel in what was one of the fixtures of the day.
— Nick Metcalfe (@Nick_Metcalfe) October 14, 2020
However, several of the other seeds were denied at the second hurdle of the English Open, including Mark Allen, Shaun Murphy, and Stuart Bingham.
Bingham, the 2018 English Open champion, fell in a 4-2 reverse to Ben Woollaston while Allen was pummelled 4-0 by Robbie Williams.
Murphy’s match was the last to finish on day three at the Marshall Arena, with the “Magician” losing 4-3 to a two-ton performance by David Lilley.
In what was another busy day of action, Yan Bingtao suffered a shock loss to Steven Hallworth and Jack Lisowski was sent packing by Jak Jones.
The improving Jamie Clarke, Barry Hawkins, Matthew Stevens, Gary Wilson, and inaugural English Open winner Liang Wenbo were a few of the other names to progress to the third round.
That stage takes place on Thursday, and it’ll be a hectic day in general with the fourth round due to be completed as well.
By the end of play, all eight quarter-finalists will be determined and that’s usually when there is a clearer picture of which contender could potentially emerge with the trophy on Sunday.
Live coverage is on Eurosport, Quest, and Matchroom.Live (depending on your location).
Click here to view the draw. (External Site -Times in CET)
Featured photo credit: WST