Mark Allen saw off an Alexander Ursenbacher fightback to win 4-2 and clinch his place in the last 16 of the Indian Open in Vishakhapatnam.
The world number 11 requires some big performances this season, with prize money from his 2015 Players Championship victory set to drop off in March. Allen currently lies 25th in the provisional end of season rankings.
Allen established a 3-0 advantage this evening, making breaks of 75 and 58. Ursenbacher seemed out of sorts having spurned several opportunities and it looked like it was going to be brief encounter.
However, the potter from Switzerland forced his way back into contention, making a break of 99 in the fourth frame, before taking the next on the pink to make it 3-2. Allen then got himself over the line in a tight sixth frame to secure the tie.
Allen remarked: “I did feel comfortable at 3-0 and felt like I would go on and win 4-0, but snooker isn’t that easy. The slightest thing can turn matches. He got a little bit of luck at the start of frame four and made a good break. Next thing I know it was 3-2. I’m pleased to get through.
“It’s a chance for me to go really deep in this tournament and hopefully lift the trophy. However, there are a lot of other good players standing in my way and they will be thinking the same thing.”
Shaun Murphy continued his quest for a first title of the campaign with a 4-1 defeat of Fergal O’Brien.
The Magician is hoping to go one step further this week, having been runner-up in back to back finals at the China Championship and Paul Hunter Classic. He made contributions of 97, 105 and 125 today.
2015 World Champion Stuart Bingham booked his spot in the last 16 with a comfortable 4-1 victory against Matthew Selt. The world number nine closed out the tie with breaks of 68 and 67.
Hossein Vafaei secured his last 16 place with a 4-2 defeat of Gerard Greene. It was extra cause for celebration for the Iranian as it was his birthday.
For full results click here.