Ding Junhui won all four frames as he dismantled the challenge of Gao Yang to reach the last 64 of the Welsh Open on Saturday.
The former world number one, who has plummeted down the rankings list to a lowly position of 31 amid a desperate spell of form, compiled breaks of 134 and 59.
A Welsh Open winner a decade ago, Ding is likely going to have to qualify for the World Championship this season but will be looking to rediscover his old spark by the time that comes around in April.
Meanwhile, David Gilbert’s indifferent period since the turn of the year continued with a 4-2 reverse against Joe Perry – the latter high scoring with a 142 total clearance.
Gilbert, the campaign’s early Championship League winner, had been threatening a return to the top 16 but has barely won a game so far in 2022.
Elsewhere, Jack Lisowski produced a terrific comeback from 2-0 down to overcome Stuart Carrington with rapid breaks of 76, 87, 102, and 65.
Matthew Selt and Noppon Saengkham secured respective close victories against Chinese duo Xu Si and Tian Pengfei.
But Li Hang ousted Louis Heathcote and Zhao Jianbo denied David Grace in a decider to bring some joy to the contingent from China.
Chris Wakelin was the day’s other whitewash winner after a comprehensive 4-0 hiding of the struggling Irishman Aaron Hill.
The preliminary section for the Welsh Open concludes on Sunday with Ricky Walden, Martin Gould, and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh among those entering the fray.
The venue stages for what is the last leg of the Home Nations series this term will subsequently begin at the end of the month at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport.
Live coverage is available on the Eurosport Player and Matchroom.Live.
Click here to view the draw (scheduled times in CET)
Featured photo credit: WST