Chinese duo Lyu Haotian and Lu Ning topped their respective groups in the Championship League on Monday in Leicester.
In the fifth week of the elongated ranking tournament, Stage Two finally got under way at the Morningside Arena.
In Group E, Lyu began the day with just a 2-2 draw against Jimmy Robertson, but the 24 year-old’s confidence grew as the day progressed.
A 3-0 triumph over Hossein Vafaei followed, and by the time he outplayed Michael Judge with a 3-1 scoreline, nobody could catch his tally of seven points.
For Lu, the 28 year-old’s survival in Group F with apparent ease was arguably an even better feat.
Lu won the final three frames, including the fourth on the black, to deny Stephen Maguire 3-1 before a comprehensive 3-0 defeat of Mark Williams moved him to within the brink of Stage Three.
Only a point was needed from the final round of fixtures to absolutely guarantee his spot at the next phase of the competition, and he duly delivered with a 2-2 tie with Aaron Hill.
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Both Lyu Haotian and Lu Ning will feature in the final stage of this version of the Championship League on Friday.
Meanwhile, Stage Two continues on Tuesday with Group H involving defending champion David Gilbert, Robert Milkins, Xiao Guodong, and Michael White.
Group C also takes place with Stuart Bingham, Jordan Brown, Ben Woollaston, and Jamie Jones set to reenter the frey.
Live coverage is available on FreeSports and Matchroom.Live in the UK and Ireland, and by various other means around the world.
Click here to view the draw (times: CET)
Featured photo credit: WST
Good to see two young players upset the favourites (certainly the commentators’ favourites). Your picture of Lyu Haotian is slightly older, and shows how he has now remodelled his technique. His good start to the season indicates that it is working well.