Robin Hull reached his first ranking event quarter-final for eight years with a 5-1 victory over Cao Yupeng at the Wuxi Classic on Thursday.
The Finn was forced to retire from snooker in 2008 after a series of health problems, but returned to the pro tour in 2013 and enjoyed a run to the final stages of the World Championship last season. And now he’s through to the third ranking quarter-final of his career, and first since the 2006 Malta Cup.
Hull knocked in breaks of 87, 52 and 67 in a convincing display against Cao.
He now meets Joe Perry, who saw off Liang Wenbo 5-2 with a top run of 69.
“I started well, then from 3-2 it got quite scrappy,” said Perry, who enjoyed his best ever season in 2013/14. “It has rained constantly for two days and that has made conditions tough. You’ve got to accept that when it’s like that you’re not going to play well – and keep a positive attitude.
“Liang made it hard for me and I didn’t play as well as I did in my first two matches. Every day is different and I feel confident.”
Stephen Maguire dominated a scrappy match against Judd Trump, winning 5-0 despite a top break of just 36.
“It wasn’t the best match, it was hard to make a 20 break,” admitted Maguire. “I knew from frame one it was just going to be a scrap, and I managed to scrap my way through. Most of the frames went to the colours and could have gone either way. We’ll both want to forget about the match.
“It’s amazing how much difference the weather can make to the way the tables play, because they have been fine up until today. People watching probably don’t realise the difference it makes. If it stays like this then it’s going to be a dog fight and anything can happen.”
Maguire now meets Londoner Martin Gould, who beat Ryan Day 5-3, making a break of 122 in the last frame.