Mark Selby did just enough to beat Cao Yupeng at the British Open and seal his place in the last 16, where he will play Jack Lisowski.
Selby wasn't on top form but was able to capitalise on Cao's errors to take a 4-2 win inside the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes.
Selby didn't take long to get into his stride in the night session, compiling a break of 55 to get his nose ahead in the opener.
Selby admits he 'needs to be at the top of my game' to beat Robertson
But Cao sunk a red to the left middle when he got his chance, and set about reducing the deficit, which he did so as his visit reached 34. It was to go no further however as the 31-year-old missed a relatively simple brown to the middle, and Selby needed no second invitation to clear up from there and move 1-0 ahead.
Cao didn't let the disappointment of that miss get to him though, as in the next he got in early and racked up a break of 70, which was enough to give him the frame and level things up.
A long, scrappy third frame could've gone either way, but Selby it was who eventually took it with a clinching long blue.
- 'I had to share this' - Allen makes incredible five-cushion escape at British Open
- Trump blows away Young to reach last 32 with ease, Ding also through
- 'Some people never recover from this illness' – Woollaston on debilitating health battle
Could Selby stride away from here? He set about doing so in frame four, making a break of 90 after Cao had missed a thin cut on a red to the bottom right pocket, and took a 3-1 advantage.
Cao could have folded in the fifth but did anything but, looking assertive as he pulled off some fine positional shots to take his early break towards half century.
A simple missed red stopped him in his tracks, but a slice of terrible luck for Selby - seeing a red drop into the right bottom corner pocket when well set for a clearance - saw Cao come back to the table and get the points he needed for the frame.
At 3-2 and with the match in the balance, Selby forged ahead in the sixth frame and pulled off arguably his best shot of the night to sink a difficult red, and that led to a break of 109 - and with it the match.
Elsewhere, Jamie Jones secured his passage to the next round with a 4-1 win over Chang Bingyu, Graeme Dott came through a marathon battle with Xiao Guodong 4-3, and Ben Woollaston backed up his win over Mark Williams to defeat Jak Jones 4-1.
Lisowski made it through with a 4-1 win over Lu Ning.
LAST 16 DRAW
- Mark Selby v Jack Lisowski
- Anthony Hamilton v Zhao Jianbo/Yuan Sijun
- Jamie Jones v Ben Woollaston
- Ding Junhui/Robbie Williams v Steven Hallworth
- Gary Wilson/Mark Allen v Xu Si/Judd Trump
- Graeme Dott v Jimmy Robertson/Ryan Day
- Zhao Xintong/Noppon Saengkham v Yan Bingtao/Jordan Brown
- Lyu Haotian v Craig Steadman/Matthew Stevens
- - -
Stream top snooker action live on discovery+ and eurosport.co.uk
‘Embarrassing’ – Craigie slams Selby’s opinion on him and defends O’Sullivan
Selby crashes out of UK Championship with defeat to classy Vafaei
Share this article