Emerging star Zhao Xintong produced a superb display to knock Mark Williams out of the China Championship and win through to the Quarter-Finals, while Marton O’Donnell and Lyu Haotian also enjoyed upsets in Guangzhou.
Zhao, 20, underlined his potential by coming from 2-0 and 3-1 down to knock out the World Champion and become the third Chinese youngster through to the Last Eight of the £725,000 major.
Having already seen off Anthony McGill and Fergal O’Brien, Zhao entered the tie full of confidence, but suffered an early setback as Williams clinched the first two frames.
A break of 86 settled Zhao into the contest, but only for Williams to hit back with a clinical break of 108 to restore a two-frame cushion.
Back-to-back breaks of 52 and 94 saw the home favourite draw level, before a close-run seventh went his way to move him ahead for the first time.
He then closed out victory in style with a well-taken break of 74 to progress to his first ranking Quarter-Final, having won back his Tour Card at Qualifying School in May.
Zhao will now face Barry Hawkins in Friday’s Quarter-Finals after the Shanghai Masters finalist defeated former World Champion Graeme Dott 5-2.
Hawkins produced breaks of 79, 54 and 63 to send home the Scot and continue his run under the radar.
Eighteen year-old Yuan Sijun extended his ground-breaking run on home soil with a 5-3 defeat of Mark King to book his place in the Last Eight.
Yuan, who dumped out Ding Junhui in Round Two, proved that result was no flash in the pan as he put the former Northern Ireland Open champion to the sword.
The teenage sensation took the opening two frames with breaks of 82 and 76 and went on to make 56 and 66 on his way to a convincing victory.
He will now contest the biggest match of his career to date against Mark Selby on Friday after the world number one overcame Hossein Vafaei 5-3.
Selby established a 2-0 lead before Vafaei responded with breaks of 56 and 108 to level, though ‘The Jester’ made a 67 to regain the upper-hand.
A 71 break saw the Iranian peg back but a classy clearance of 108 paved the way for Selby to go on and wrap up victory in the following frame.
Box office stars John Higgins and Judd Trump will collide in the pick of the Quarter-Final ties after they defeated Scott Donaldson and Yan Bingtao respectively.
Higgins, the 2016 China Champion, compiled three half centuries on the way to denying his young compatriot.
Trump, meanwhile, produced a deadly display of break-building to thrash the highly-rated 18-year-old with top breaks of 51, 83, 111, 55 and 56.
Lyu Haotian followed up his Second Round scalp of Joe Perry with an impressive 5-3 triumph over last year’s beaten finalist Shaun Murphy.
Lyu, who reached the Last 16 on his World Championship debut in April, continued his rapid progress by winning through to his third ranking event Quarter-Final, sealing the victory with a tidy break of 75.
World number 67 Martin O’Donnell pulled off a major upset as he knocked out world number 18 Liang Wenbo 5-2 to reach his first ranking Quarter-Final in a conventional format.
Liang made a break of 57 but failed to close out the first frame and O’Donnell punished before following up with contributions of 62 and 57 to lead 3-0.
Liang got off the mark in frame four before O’Donnell replied with a further half century, and though the Chinese number two secured the sixth frame, it was rank outsider O’Donnell who finished off the job in frame seven for a memorable scalp.
China Championship 2018 Results
Thursday September 27
Martin O’Donnell 5-2 Liang Wenbo
Lyu Haotian 5-3 Shaun Murphy
Judd Trump 5-1 Yan Bingtao
Scott Donaldson 3-5 John Higgins
Mark Selby 5-3 Hossein Vafaei
Mark King 3-5 Yuan SiJun
Barry Hawkins 5-2 Graeme Dott
Zhao Xintong 5-3 Mark Williams