Graeme Dott is through to the last 16 of the World Grand Prix after edging out John Higgins 4-3 in the battle of the Scots in Llandudno.
A real seesaw encounter between the former world champions at the Venue Cymru went the way of Dott, who will now play Liang Wenbo tomorrow evening.
In the opening frame of their first meeting since the 2012 Masters, a lengthy safety exchange ensued between two of the game’s strongest tactical players.
Higgins is in good form, having won the Welsh Open last month, and he looked sharp as he knocked in a stunning long red on his way to making a very controlled break of 80 to go in front.
His opponent responded as he opened the second frame with a run of 51, but broke down after a horrible and untimely kick lost him position on the black.
The four-time world champion threatened to steal with a break of 45. However, a slightly under hit positional shot from black to yellow led to him missing a tricky green, and 2006 world champion Dott potted the brown and blue to level.
A very scrappy third frame brought about several fairly bad misses from both men, before Higgins pounced on his opponent missing a tricky last red to the middle pocket by clearing to the pink to regain the lead.
World number 18, Dott hit back straight away with a break of 63 and took the lead for the first time with a 78 in the fifth frame.
Five of the previous 20 meetings between the players have gone to a deciding frame, and a run of 69 from world number 12, Higgins ensured that another was needed to separate the two.
The final frame swayed both ways before Higgins played a loose escape from being snookered, leaving Dott on a red near the bottom rail.
And the ‘Pocket Dynamo’ needed no second invitation, as he knocked in a break of 39 to seal his progress to the next round.
World Seniors champion Mark Williams will join him in the last 16, after another final frame victory over fellow Welshman Ryan Day.
Williams took the opening frame but found himself 3-1 behind, before producing a magnificent comeback to win on the black after a huge fluke on the pink.
Elsewhere, Judd Trump breezed through to the last 16 after comfortably whitewashing home favourite Dominic Dale 4-0.
The world number seven was in scintillating form as he took just 56 minutes to seal his progress – knocking in the tournament’s highest break so far of 140 along the way.
Having waited patiently for Graeme Dott’s final frame victory over John Higgins to conclude, Trump came flying out of the blocks as he sunk a terrific opening red before making breaks of 53 and 35 to take the opening frame.
He then surpassed the high break of 139 set earlier today by Joe Perry, who he will play in the next round, to double his lead without his opponent potting a ball.
Trump had won five of his previous six meetings with the Welshman and the onslaught continued in the third frame, as he had runs of 58 and 45 before wrapping up the win in the next in just under an hour.
“It’s nice to feel comfortable. Looking back at my average shot time, it just shows that I had a bit of confidence out there,” Trump told ITV Sport.
“I think the big difference was my long potting – it got me a lot of chances and I scored quite heavily.
“If you make a big break in the first couple of frames and you’re 2-0 up in a best-of-seven, it’s almost impossible for your opponent to make a comeback as you’re under so much pressure,” he added.