A relieved Judd Trump reached the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters after a 6-5 victory over Jack Lisowski on Tuesday.
The three-time former runner-up looked to be coasting to the winning line when he established a 5-2 lead with breaks of 81, 69, and 66.
But Lisowski fought back with runs of 77 and 68 to reduce the arrears to one before winning a close tenth frame to force a decider.
- CLICK HERE: Hossein Vafaei – ‘I love Ronnie, he’s my hero’
In amongst the balls in the final frame, it looked as though the 32 year-old was set to complete his second 6-5 success of the week.
A missed pink, however, allowed Trump back in to make a steely clearance of 74 under pressure.
“I thought I’d blown it when I missed the yellow in the last frame,” Judd Trump told the World Snooker Tour soon after.
“I was just overthinking things, I potted a good red to get in. I took a little bit too long.”
“He was potting some really good balls, he got in a great position. He had that one tricky shot left, and I thought it was game over.
“He was looking good from 5-2 down, so yeah, I was already thinking about the flight home.
“Obviously, he missed that one. The balls are there, but you know you’ve got to clear up, so there was a lot of pressure out there – especially against Jack.
“You never want to come here and go out in the first round, just in the manner of being 5-2 up. I’m proud of digging in and making a good break under pressure.”
Famously the best of chums away from the baize, Trump admitted that it’s not easy playing Lisowski but something he has to remain professional about.
“It’s difficult, we haven’t played each other for a while, so it was always going to be tough. I was half-hoping he’d lose in the first round and half-hoping he’d win.
“In the end, it turned out to be a great game.
“I think it’s something that I had to learn (putting friendships to one side), I think I was a little too friendly at the start.
“If you watch the best players, they are super friendly off the table, but when they are on the table they forget they know you.
“That’s the way you’ve got to be, so I think that’s the importance of maybe making those big clearances – not thinking of anything else other than trying your absolute best to win.”
In the next round, Trump will face either Hossein Vafaei or Mark Selby – someone he has managed to frequently avoid in draws in recent years.
“I mean I haven’t played Mark Selby….whenever we’re due to meet, one of us loses. We never, ever meet,” Trump joked.
“His record against Hossein isn’t great either I don’t think, but he’s a different player from maybe the last two or three years.”
“Especially the last season, he’s looked completely different. I think he’s due – I’d be surprised if he lost, but Hossein is an amazing player too.
“Anyone in this tournament is a great player. That’s why you see such close games, and whoever it is, it’s going to be tough.”
Elsewhere, John Higgins produced a fine performance to become the first player through to the last eight in China.
The 2012 champion – when the tournament was previously staged as a ranking event – overcame Kyren Wilson 6-3.
In the remaining round of 24 fixtures, Mark Williams and Robert Milkins thumped Pang Junxu and Bai Yulu respectively.
Shanghai Masters draw and schedule
Last 24 (bo11)
Ali Carter (11) 6-2 Dong Zihao
John Higgins (10) 6-0 Deng Haohui
Hossein Vafaei (16) 6-1 Gong Chenzhi
Jack Lisowski (13) 6-5 Zhou Yuelong
Gary Wilson (14) 2-6 Fan Zhengyi
Ding Junhui (15) 6-2 Si Jiahui
Robert Milkins (12) 6-1 Bai Yulu
Mark Williams (9) 6-1 Pang Junxu
Last 16 (bo11)
Ronnie O’Sullivan (1) 6-3 Ali Carter (11)
Kyren Wilson (8) 3-6 John Higgins (10)
Mark Selby (5) 6-5 Hossein Vafaei (16)
Judd Trump (4) 6-5 Jack Lisowski (13)
Mark Allen (3) 3-6 Fan Zhengyi
Neil Robertson (6) 6-5 Ding Junhui (15)
Shaun Murphy (7) 5-6 Robert Milkins (12)
Luca Brecel (2) 6-4 Mark Williams (9)
Ronnie O’Sullivan (1) 6-5 John Higgins (10)
Mark Selby (5) 6-1 Judd Trump (4)
Fan Zhengyi 1-6 Neil Robertson (6)
Robert Milkins (12) 3-6 Luca Brecel (2)
Ronnie O’Sullivan (1) 10-7 Mark Selby (5)
Neil Robertson (6) 7-10 Luca Brecel (2)
Ronnie O’Sullivan (1) 11-9 Luca Brecel (2)
Featured photo credit: WST