Ding Junhui produced an inspired comeback to beat Robert Milkins 5-4 on day two of the inaugural Turkish Masters in Antalya.
The three-time UK champion arrived at Nirvana Cosmopolitan Hotel off the back of a disappointing season that has seen him slip to 32nd in the world rankings.
Indeed, aside from the Championship League, Ding has registered just seven victories to his name; with a run to the English Open last 16 representing his best performance.
The 34-year-old has also suffered three first-round exits and it looked like another would follow as he trailed 4-1 against former six-time ranking semi-finalist Milkins.
But Ding dug deep; back-to-back centuries of 131 and 105 were followed by further runs of 81 and 55 that saw him over the line.
The Dragon’s reward is a clash with Kyren Wilson, who hit breaks of 98, 60 and 54 in a commanding 5-1 win over Tian Pengfei, while Yan Bingtao saw off Joe O’Connor 5-2.
There were also such problems for Judd Trump; the Welsh Open finalist whitewashing Michael Georgiou 5-0 with contributions of 110, 75 and 61.
Shaun Murphy also reeled off five frames without reply against Lyu Haotian, with Shootout champion Hossein Vafaei repeating the feat over local wildcard Enes Bakirci.
Birthday boy Luca Brecel, who turned 27 on Tuesday, celebrated with six breaks over 50 in a 5-1 victory over Stuart Carrington.
The Scottish Open winner will play Zhou Yuelong, who recovered from 4-2 down to see off European Masters champion Fan Zhengyi in a deciding frame.
However, world number 16 Stephen Maguire was ousted in a decider by Thepchaiya Un-Nooh. The former Shootout winner recovered from needing a snooker on the final red to clear and advance.
Oliver Lines also produced an important clearance when it mattered most; the Leeds left-hander dishing with 69 from 50-0 down to deny Xiao Guodong on the final pink.
Turkish Masters 2022 Results
Tuesday March 8
Round One (Q = Qualifying Round)
Simon Blackwell 4-5 Iulian Boiko (Q)
Robert Milkins 4-5 Ding Junhui
Xiao Guodong 4-5 Oliver Lines
Yan Bingtao 5-2 Joe O’Connor
Fan Zhengyi 4-5 Zhou Yuelong
Hossein Vafaei 5-0 Enes Bakirci (Q)
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 5-4 Stephen Maguire
Tian Pengfei 1-5 Kyren Wilson
Andy Hicks 2-5 Elliot Slessor
Stuart Carrington 1-5 Luca Brecel
Judd Trump 5-0 Michael Georgiou (Q)
Jimmy Robertson 5-2 Cao Yupeng
Lyu Haotian 0-5 Shaun Murphy
Yuan SiJun 5-3 Mark Davis
Ricky Walden 4-5 Sam Craigie