Ronnie O’Sullivan scraped through to the Wuhan Open last 16 after edging out Pang Junxu in a deciding frame on Wednesday.
The Rocket trailed 3-2 and 4-3 against the home favourite, who had recovered from 2-0 down, but eventually prevailed to remain on course for his second Chinese-based title in as many months.
It was a repeat of their first-round encounter at the World Championship six months earlier, with O’Sullivan quickly taking control at 5-1 on the way to a 10-7 victory.
As he did at the Crucible, the world number one controlled the early stages of the contest with breaks of 67 and 128, but missed the pink to make it 3-0 and Pang halved the deficit on the black.
Last season’s WST Classic runner-up then produced a 45 clearance from 49-17 down to snatch frame four on the black, before completing the turnaround in the next.
O’Sullivan stopped the rot with 93 and though Pang moved to the brink of victory with 107, the seven-time World champion set up a decider with 117 before a 64 was eventually enough to get him over the line.
He will now face another Chinese player in the last 16 in Yuan SiJun, who overcame Ashley Carty 5-2.
Mark Allen and Jack Lisowski also came through deciding frames against Si Jiahui and Sam Craigie respectively, and will face each other in the fourth round.
Meanwhile, Ali Carter produced an inspired turnaround against Stuart Bingham, recovering from 4-1 down to stun the 2015 World champion in a decider.
There were no such problems for English Open champion Judd Trump, who dropped just two frames as he saw off good friends Oliver Lines and Matthew Selt, while European Masters winner Barry Hawkins hit breaks of 100, 78 and 73 in his commanding 5-1 victory over Jamie Jones.
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Wuhan Open 2023 | Day Three Results
Wednesday October 11
Third Round (R2 = Second Round)
Oliver Lines 2-5 Judd Trump (R2)
Xu Si 0-5 Xiao Guodong
Zhang Anda 5-1 Noppon Saengkham
Ben Mertens 1-5 Lyu Haotian
Gong Chen Zhi 4-5 He Guoqiang
Ryan Day 2-5 Wu Yize
Ashley Carty 2-5 Yuan SiJun
Zhou Yuelong 3-5 Liam Highfield
Robert Milkins 2-5 Tom Ford
Jamie Jones 1-5 Barry Hawkins
Mark Allen 5-4 Si Jiahui
Xing Zihao 1-5 Stephen Maguire
Jack Lisowski 5-4 Sam Craigie
Stuart Bingham 4-5 Ali Carter
Aaron Hill 5-1 Martin O’Donnell
Pang Junxu 4-5 Ronnie O’Sullivan
Judd Trump 5-0 Matthew Selt