Mark Davis edged out Liang Wenbo 4-3 in the last 16 of the European Masters in Romania to set up a match with Ronnie O’Sullivan.
World number 30 Davis is into his second ranking quarter-final of the season, having reached the same stage of the Paul Hunter Classic, though he was fortunate today that his Chinese opponent missed a clear chance for victory in the penultimate frame.
In a high quality start to the match, Liang went 2-1 up with breaks of 81 and 103, with Davis taking the second frame with an 82. Sussex cueman Davis got the better of a scrappy fourth for 2-2. The fifth came down to a safety exchange on the final pink, and a loose shot from Davis allowed his opponent to bury a mid-range pot to a top corner to go 3-2 ahead.
World number 20 Liang had a golden chance to seal the match in frame six but, trailing 44-55 with the last four balls at his mercy, he suffered a kick on the brown and missed it to a baulk corner. Davis took advantage to force the decider, then won it in fine fashion with a break of 107.
“The balls were perfect for me in the last frame although every shot still felt like hard work,” said 44-year-old Davis. “I’m pleased to win because it looked like being another game I would chuck away, as I have so many time over the last 12 or 18 months. Liang was very unlucky to get a massive kick in the sixth frame.
“I’m looking forward to playing Ronnie tomorrow, he’s the best player ever. I will enjoy it and if I play well I can win, I’ve beaten him before. But if I miss easy balls I’ll be going home.”
Anthony McGill also came through a tense decider to beat close friend Scott Donaldson 4-3. Indian Open champion McGill is now through to his fourth quarter-final of the season and will face Neil Robertson on Friday evening.
He held leads of 2-0 and 3-2 today but Donaldson recovered each time and won the sixth frame with a break of 86. Donaldson had a chance in the decider but was unlucky to go in-off when potting the black and splitting the pack of reds. A safety exchange followed, ending when Glasgow’s 25-year-old McGill converted an excellent pot on a red to a centre pocket, which set up a match winning run of 46.