Zhao Xintong is one of the eight UK Championship quarter-finalists after beating Peter Lines 6-4 on Wednesday at the Barbican Centre.
The talented 24 year-old scored the heavier throughout the contest but was made to work hard for a victory that takes him one round shy of his previous best in a ranking event.
Zhao, a two-time former World Amateur Championship runner-up, has been widely tipped as a possible star for many years, and his win consolidates the achievement of defeating four-time world champion John Higgins in the third round.
“This time was very difficult, I played well and tried hard for the last three frames,” a pleased Zhao Xintong said in his post-match interview with Rob Walker.
“When I was 4-1 up, I just thought that I would win the match, but in the sixth frame he played really well and he came back.”
“In the next three frames I had big pressure – he gave me big pressure – and he came back to 4-4.
“In the last two frames I just thought that I need to keep my style and I need to pot. I don’t want to be slow, because if I’m slow I think I’ll lose the game.
“It’s very important for me. I’m very happy and this is my first time to the UK Championship quarter-final. I need to win because it will give me more confidence.”
In his quarter-final bout, Zhao will take on either Jack Lisowski or Hossein Vafaei – a big opportunity for all three players to go deep in the Triple Crown event.
Elsewhere, Ronnie O’Sullivan and Kyren Wilson set up a repeat of their 2020 World Championship final showdown after recording a pair of 6-3 triumphs.
The Rocket stayed on course for a record-extending eighth UK crown by beating Noppon Saengkham while Wilson ended the run of Ben Woollaston.
Anthony McGill similarly advanced by the same margin after winning the last three frames to deny Welsh Open champion Jordan Brown.
On Thursday, the remaining ties from the fourth round take place.
Live coverage of the UK Championship is on the BBC and Eurosport. Click here for other available options around the world.
Featured photo credit: WST
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Yes and charming interviews with Zhao Xintong after his last two wins. What took them so long? It’s great to see young players promoting the game. It also continues a change in the style of broadcasting by BBC and ES.