Elliot Slessor is aiming to extend his best-ever run at a ranking event when he faces Shaun Murphy in the third round of the 2017 Indian Open on Friday, while John Higgins and reigning champion Anthony McGill are also on display in Vishakhapatnam.
Day four of the fourth ranking event this season is a crucial one, with the 16-man field battling it out over two rounds to take the four available spots in the semi-finals.
World number 85 Slessor finds himself in uncharted territory after a pair of impressive deciding-frame victories over former Masters champion Alan McManus and the reigning finalist of the same competition in Joe Perry.
The Gateshead cueist notably showed tremendous composure against Perry, who battled back from 3-0 down to level at 3-3, by dominating the seventh frame to secure his first-ever Last-16 berth.
However, he knows that he will have his work cut out against world number five Murphy, who has dropped just three frames in his quest for a third consecutive ranking event final.
Meanwhile, China’s new professional Xu Si is also enjoying his best performance in a ranking event, and shall look to continue that run against 2015 finalist Ricky Walden, as Liam Highfield and Zhang Anda aim to progress to the quarter-finals for the first time against Thailand’s Akani Songsermsawad and the resurgent Ken Doherty respectively.
Elsewhere, reigning champion McGill resumes his title defence with a tricky clash against Iran’s Hossein Vafaei, while world number nine Stuart Bingham locks horns with fellow Essex cueist Mark King.
Second seed John Higgins is eyeing a first-ever run beyond this stage in India but faces a tough test in Michael Holt, as Mark Allen is also set to have his work cut out against world number 21 David Gilbert.
Round Three breaks off at 5am BST on Friday, while the Quarter-Finals take centre stage from 12.30pm. All matches will be contested over the best of seven frames in Vishakhapatnam.
Indian Open 2017 Schedule
Friday September 15
56 Anthony McGill v Hossein Vafaei
57 Zhang Anda v Ken Doherty
58 Stuart Bingham v Mark King
60 Xu Si v Ricky Walden
59 Elliot Slessor v Shaun Murphy
61 David Gilbert v Mark Allen
62 Liam Highfield v Akani Songsermsawad
63 Michael Holt v John Higgins
McGill/Vafaei v Anda/Doherty
Xu/Walden v Gilbert/Allen
Murphy/Slessor v Bingham/King
Highfield/Akani v Holt/Higgins