Neil Robertson booked his place in the Players Championship quarter-finals with a 6-4 victory over Kyren Wilson in Wolverhampton on Monday.
Feeling the effects of fatigue, the Masters champion was appearing at Aldersley Leisure Village just two days after coming out of isolation following a positive test for COVID-19.
Nevertheless, the Thunder produced breaks of 114 and 100 on the way to securing only a second win in five meetings with Wilson.
Robertson is a three-time finalist in this elite event – most recently to Ronnie O’Sullivan in 2019, when the Rocket completed a 10-4 victory with the 1,000th century of his illustrious career.
The world number four opened with a brilliant break of 114 and although his opponent replied with 57, he regained the lead with 60 before a 38 clearance saw him snatch a 3-1 lead on the black.
World number five Wilson responded well after the interval; dominating the fifth frame to halve the deficit before levelling with a wonderful 87 clearance following an untimely miscue by Robertson.
The Warrior was in to complete the turnaround, but broke down on 40 after pulling a long red wide of the target. His opponent stepped in with a clinical 94 clearance to regain the lead.
However, this season’s Champion of Champions and UK Championship semi-finalist hit back immediately with a magnificent total clearance of 141 to level once more at 4-4.
But it was to be Robertson’s day. A lovely break of 100 put him on the brink of victory, which he secured with a neat 47 clearance.
Fellow left-hander Mark Williams will join him in the quarter-finals; the three-time World champion defeating Gary Wilson 6-3 in a repeat of the British Open showpiece last August.
Williams, who had lost in the opening round on his previous two appearances, maintained his 100 per cent record against the Tyneside Terror; registering a fifth consecutive win despite a top break of just 48 along the way.
Players Championship Snooker 2022 Results
Monday February 7
Neil Robertson 6-4 Kyren Wilson
Mark Williams 6-3 Gary Wilson