There was plenty of drama on day three of the competition in Milton Keynes.
Ronnie O’Sullivan is through to the quarter-finals of the World Grand Prix after beating Barry Hawkins 4-1 at the Marshall Arena on Wednesday night.
The “Rocket”, a winner of this tournament in 2018, contributed breaks of 108, 58, 57, and 51 in what transpired to be a relatively comfortable outing.
O’Sullivan has already lost in two ranking event finals since claiming a sixth World Championship crown at the Crucible in August and is looking to end the calendar year on a high.
The 45 year-old will be hoping to feature in Sunday’s title decider, but on the same day O’Sullivan is also set to be a contender for the prestigious BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.
The world number three will meet Kyren Wilson next in what will be a repeat of their world final showdown a few months ago in Sheffield.
Wilson, who has recovered from a car accident last week, reached the World Grand Prix quarter-finals with a 4-1 victory against Yan Bingtao.
Earlier in the day, there were a number of tighter battles that could have gone either way.
Judd Trump prolonged his run in the tournament with a second successive fight back, this time against Masters champion Stuart Bingham.
Trump battled from a frame down to deny Michael Holt in the previous round, and the world number one went one better against Bingham as he retrieved a 3-1 deficit to eventually advance following a tense decider.
Martin Gould will be the Englishman’s next opponent in the last eight after the “Pinner Potter” overcame Lu Ning.
Meanwhile, the first round concluded with Mark Selby extending his streak of form by the narrowest of margins.
The “Jester” is still riding the wave of confidence that was bolstered by his triumph over O’Sullivan in Sunday’s Scottish Open final.
In an interesting clash with Liang Wenbo in which six out of the saven frames were won to an opponent’s score of zero points, Selby crucially took the last two with breaks of 94 and 75 to prevail 4-3.
Iran’s Hossein Vafaei similarly required all seven frames to get passed Zhou Yuelong, while Jack Lisowski and Zhao Xintong ousted Shaun Murphy and Jamie Jones with respective 4-2 scorelines.
On Thursday, the round of 16 matches will conclude before the first two World Grand Prix quarter-finals take place.
The World Grand Prix features only the top 32 earners on the one-year list from this season, and it is the last ranking event of the 2020 calendar year.
The tournament is being broadcast live on ITV4 across Ireland and the United Kingdom, or you can check viewing options for your region by clicking here.
Featured photo credit: WST