Shaun Murphy came through a tough early examination at the Bank of Communications OTO Shanghai Masters, beating Joe Swail 5-4 in the last 32.
World number seven Murphy was pushed all the way by former Crucible semi-finalist Swail, nicknamed the Outlaw, but made an excellent break in the deciding frame. Manchester-based Murphy compiled runs of 80, 102, 65 and 56 but could not shake off Swail until the last frame, when he sealed the result with a composed 75.
“Joe’s been a great player for many years so I knew it was going to be difficult. I’m very relieved to come through in the end,” said Murphy, who will face Graeme Dott, Liang Wenbo or Yan Bingtao in his last 16 match on Thursday. “If you lose today you’re out of the tournament before it has really started. I feel as if I played really well and nearly lost. The most important thing is to win at all costs.”
There were no slip-ups for the British players in the wild card round. Mark Williams beat Zhang Yong 5-2 with a top break of 59, Ryan Day white-washed Xu Si 5-0 with a high break of 64 and Michael Holt top scored with 72 in a 5-2 defeat of Yuan Sijun.