Jack Lisowski has set his sights on a maiden World Snooker Championship title after downing the favourite in Sheffield on Monday.
The 30 year-old reached the last eight at the Crucible Theatre for the first time with a magnificent 13-12 triumph against Neil Robertson.
A topsy-turvy tie that featured six century breaks between them, including a maximum 147 contribution from Robertson, went all the way to the final frame.
Lisowski, so often guilty of crumbling under the pressure of big occasions in the past, held his nerve for a career-best victory.
“For me he’s definitely the best player in the world at the moment,” A buoyant Lisowski told the World Snooker Tour in the immediate aftermath of his win.
“He threw a lot at me the last few days, I threw everything I had at him. It’s a massive win for me – the biggest of my career, I feel great.”
“I was pretty gone, it was tough. I was very nearly 11-7 up, and next thing I know he’s potting a long red and making his beautiful 147.
“Everything was spinning. I went to the interval, I had a little practice, went back out there and was still a bit gone.
“But at 10-11 down I managed to pot a really good red in the middle and make an 80. I think that’s one of the best 80s I’ve ever made. That sort of gave me a bit of spirit.
“I can’t even remember what happened in the last frame. We both didn’t play a perfect frame, that’s for sure.
“When that last red went in, the crowd and stuff, it showed that they had a great night. They had a maximum and a decider.
“It was a great night for snooker I think, and I was proud to have been a part of it.
“Everyone likes an underdog, and I was definitely that the last three days. I’m probably the underdog left in the tournament.
“It’s nice to have the crowd on my side, they gave me a real boost the last few days.
“The goal at the start of the week was to make the quarters, because I’d never done that, and I knew what a big deal it would have been to beat Neil.
“I’ve done it, and now the goal is to try to win the thing. If I’ve beaten the best player in the world, I guess it doesn’t really matter who I play.
“But (it’s) Higgins next, it’s just as hard, so I’m just going to give it everything I’ve got.”
Jack Lisowski will face John Higgins in the quarter-finals on Tuesday and Wednesday – the Scot representing one of five former world champions still in the draw.
Ronnie O’Sullivan continues his bid for a record-equalling seventh Crucible crown against former UK champion Stephen Maguire, the only remaining qualifier.
Three-time winner Mark Williams faces 2021 Masters champion Yan Bingtao, the conqueror of Mark Selby in round two.
Meanwhile, Judd Trump and Stuart Bingham will clash in a battle of the one-time World Championship winners.
Featured photo credit: WST