Mark Joyce edged out Jack Lisowski 4-3 to reach the quarter-finals of the Kaspersky Riga Masters, with all eight remaining players ranked outside the world’s top 20.
Joyce is through to his seventh ranking event quarter-final and has never made a semi-final
World number 11 Lisowski saw his challenge ended by Joyce after midnight on Saturday in the Latvian capital, a result which means that Yan Bingtao, at 21st, is the highest ranked player left in the field at the first ranking event of the season.
Joyce built a 3-1 lead over Lisowski with a top break of 112, his opponent’s only response coming with a run of 140 in frame two. Lisowski, who was runner-up at this tournament last year, clawed his way back to 3-3 and had first chance in the deciding frame, but only made 27 and Joyce replied with 62 which proved enough.
Joyce now meets Stuart Carrington, who scored a 4-2 win over Mark Selby. Earlier in the day, Selby came from 3-0 down to beat Graeme Dott 4-3. And the three-time World Champion took the first two frames in his last 16 match, before Carrington won four in a row with a top break of 72.
Selby said: “I don’t feel sharp at the moment because it’s the start of the season. I’m happy I came here because I’ve missed it for the last few years. I’m looking forward to the International Championship in China now.”
Matthew Selt and Mark King – the only two remaining players to have won a ranking title – will go head to head in the last eight. Selt beat Jak Jones 4-2 in the last 16 with a top break of 85 while King saw off Chris Keogan 4-1.
Norway’s Kurt Maflin made a 112 in a 4-1 win over Thepchaiya Nu-Nooh. He now meets China’s 19-year-old Luo Honghao, who beat Mark Williams 4-1 in the last 32 then whitewashed Gary Wilson 4-0.
The other quarter-final is a Chinese derby with Yan to face Li Hang. Yan, age 19, beat Chen Zifan 4-0 in the last 16 while Li scored a 4-2 win over Mei Xiwen.
The tournament is played to a finish on Sunday, with the winner to bank £50,000.
Quarter-finals (ranking in brackets)
Yan Bingtao (21) v Li Hang (29)
Matthew Selt (34) v Mark King (28)
Stuart Carrington (50) v Mark Joyce (54)
Kurt Maflin (49) v Luo Honghao (81)