Yan Bingtao withstood a trademark Mark Selby fightback to prevail a 4-3 winner and book his place in the English Open quarter-finals for the first time.
In a mouth-watering clash at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes, the Masters winner faced the World champion having never previously progressed beyond the fourth round of this Home Nations event.
Yan, who recovered from 2-0 down to defeat Championship League winner David Gilbert 4-2 earlier on Thursday, appeared well on course to end that wait at 3-1 up.
But in trademark fashion, Selby dug deep to force a deciding frame.
Though Yan was in first with 39, the 2019 champion took command with a run of 57 before losing position on the final red.
An uncharacteristically loose safety shot followed and the Tiger held his nerve by producing a calm 31 clearance to snatch a dramatic victory on the final black.
His reward is another showdown with John Higgins, with the pair having previously locked horns in the Masters showpiece and recent Northern Ireland Open semi-final.
The four-time World champion hit breaks of 80, 69, 97 and 103 in a 4-1 win over Ding Junhui.
Meanwhile, Ronnie O’Sullivan went close to compiling the 16th maximum break of his career in a 4-0 whitewash of Jamie Clarke.
There were shades of his 2010 World Open clash with Mark King when, after potting nine reds followed by blacks in frame four, the Rocket enquired about the maximum prize on offer to referee Ben Williams.
However, his challenge ended following a poor positional shot from the final black to yellow, but that break of 120 was more than enough to book a quarter-final date with Luca Brecel.
The former China Championship winner enjoyed a 4-2 victory over Fraser Patrick, who was appearing in the last 16 of a ranking event for the first time having seen off Shaun Murphy earlier on.
Despite losing the opening frame, Judd Trump hit back with breaks of 81, 57, 104 and 62 to defeat Ross Muir 4-1 and set up a clash with former Northern Ireland Open winner King, who ended the hopes of this week’s teenage sensation Paul Deaville.
Elsewhere, Neil Robertson recovered from 2-0 and 3-2 down before a break of 73 in the decider saw him scrape past 2018 finalist Mark Davis.
Next up for the 2020 runner-up is a tasty clash with 2017 finalist Kyren Wilson, who hit a top break of 102 in his 4-1 win over Robbie Williams.
English Open 2021 Results
Thursday November 4
Jamie Clarke 4-1 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
Li Hang 1-4 Luca Brecel
Shaun Murphy 2-4 Fraser Patrick
Mark Selby 4-1 Chris Wakelin
Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-3 Anthony Hamilton
John Higgins 4-3 Lu Ning
Ding Junhui 4-0 Martin Gould
Yan Bingtao 4-2 David Gilbert
Judd Trump 4-1 Ross Muir
Mark King 4-0 Paul Deaville
Kyren Wilson 4-1 Robbie Williams
Neil Robertson 4-3 Mark Davis
Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-0 Jamie Clarke
Luca Brecel 4-2 Fraser Patrick
John Higgins 4-1 Ding Junhui
Yan Bingtao 4-3 Mark Selby