Mark Selby has admitted that stealing a scrappy opening frame was instrumental in his 4-0 rout of Liang Wenbo in Group Two of the Champion of Champions in Coventry on Wednesday afternoon.
The World Champion recovered from 31-9 down with a neat 54 clearance to clinch the first frame against the English Open winner - who was making his first appearance in the popular invitational event at the Ricoh Arena - before also reeling off the next three and finishing with a stunning break of 101.
Selby acknowledged the importance of claiming the early advantage against the player whose good recent form has seen him rise as high as 11th in the world rankings.
"Liang's one of the form players of the season at the moment so, with it being the best of seven, I needed to get off to a good start," he said.
"The first frame could've gone either way - Liang had a few chances to win it - but I managed to pinch that, which settled me down."
The Jester from Leicester is searching for a third title of the season, having already captured the Paul Hunter Classic and International Championship this term, as well as reaching the Final of the Shanghai Masters.
Despite a busy recent period of travelling, Selby arrived home from the inaugural China Championship at the weekend and had time to recharge the batteries, which was evident in his dominant display against Liang and he is very satisfied with his current performance levels.
"I'm happy with the way I'm playing. You can't go out there and predict what the match is going to be like," he added.
"You go out there confident, but the balls do what the balls do and, if they go scrappy, you just have to play with what you've got.
"I got back from China on Saturday, so I've had a few days back at home and was quite fortunate to have a few days' rest with playing on the Wednesday. Also, with the tournament only 20 minutes down the road, it's ideal for me."
The world number one is back in action against either Mark Allen or Joe Perry in the Group 2 Final later on Wednesday.
Selby knows he will have his work cut out either way, but will approach the match with plenty of belief following his earlier whitewash.
"I played Mark last week in China and he beat me 6-5, while me and Joe have had many good games and he's now one of the top players on the tour," he added.
"Whoever I play, it's going to be a tough game but I'll go into the match confident."