Kyren Wilson is through to his third successive Crucible quarter-final after brushing Welshman Jamie Jones aside with a 13-5 victory at the Betfred World Championship.
The Warrior made the last eight in 2016 with a run which was ended by the eventual winner Mark Selby. Last year he defeated 2015 Crucible king Stuart Bingham, before struggling against John Higgins in the quarter-finals after requiring a tip replacement.
Wilson, 26, will be hoping that he can clinch a place in the one-table semi-finals for the first time. He appeared in his maiden Triple Crown final at the Masters in January, where he lost out to Mark Allen. The pair will meet again in the last eight here in Sheffield. Allen booked his quarter-final berth by beating Joe Perry 13-8 in their second round tie.
World number 51 Jones will be able to look back on a memorable run. He came through qualifying in the most emphatic fashion possible, hammering Liang Wenbo 10-0 to clinch his place at the Theatre of Dreams. Jones went on to beat 2005 World Champion Shaun Murphy 10-9 in round one.
Much of the damage was done in the first two sessions. Wilson came into this evening with an 11-5 advantage and it didn’t take long for him to cruise over the line.
He made a break of 79 in the opening frame, although he did take a chunk out of his tip on the final shot of that run. Wilson then took a 15-minute break to attend to the damage. However, he played on with the same tip and got himself past the finishing post in next.
Wilson said: “I have to keep putting in the performances now. This is my third consecutive quarter-final here and that speaks volumes of how much my game has improved. I do genuinely believe that I belong at this level. I work very hard, I’m very dedicated, and I keep my feet on the ground. You reap the rewards when you do the right things.
“I’ve taken a big chunk out of my tip. I can see it when I’m down on the shot, so the tip has got to be changed. Luckily for me it happened at a very good time, being at the end of the match.
“I learned from last year’s mistake against John Higgins. Straight after the Masters final this year I changed my tip, took it off and preserved it in case this ever happened again. I’m very confident that I have one that’s ready to go on and is bedded in.”
Jones remarked: “Looking back, I won three good games at qualifying last week, so it’s not a bad tournament for me really. It’s not been a great tournament either, but I won three in qualifying and one here, so it’s not a disaster I suppose.
“Kyren’s stepped up a level. He looks like he belongs up there. He plays the game the right way. You can’t pot all the balls all the time, and Kyren’s tactical game is very good and he can score heavily. He’s got it all really.
“One thing I need to work on in these longer games is that when I’m being shut out, I need to control my game around that and not get frustrated. I went missing for four or five frames in that match and you can’t do that against these top players.”
Meanwhile, Mark Williams established a 5-3 lead in his last 16 clash with Robert Milkins.
The Welshman is enjoying his best campaign on the World Snooker Tour in several seasons, winning his first ranking title since 2011 at the Northern Ireland Open and adding another piece of silverware at the German Masters.
Williams put himself in the driving seat of this tie tonight, making breaks of 65, 87 and 53 in the process.
The pair will return for their second session tomorrow at 2:30pm.