Neil Robertson produced a stunning display of break-building to beat Jamie Jones 5-0 and reach the quarter-finals of the Australian Goldfields Open in Bendigo.
The home favourite from Melbourne rattled in runs of 103, 86, 140 and 80 in a superb performance to set up a last eight clash with Robert Milkins.
Robertson won the first ranking title of the season, the Wuxi Classic in China, just four days ago, but seems to have shrugged off any fatigue as he aims to win his home tournament for the first time.
“Today was a big improvement from yesterday’s match and I’m really pleased with the way I played,” said Robertson. “This is one of the few tournaments I haven’t won yet. All I do now is try to improve as a player, and the tournament wins will come.
“On Tuesday night I didn’t fall asleep until 5am, but last night I slept better and I felt much fresher today. Hopefully there will be a big crowd in for my quarter-final cheering me on.”
Judd Trump, who is playing in this event for the first time since 2011, scored a 5-3 win over Alan McManus. Runs of 52, 64 and 67 put Trump 3-0 up before McManus won three of the next four frames. But Trump’s 107 in frame eight sealed a quarter-final meeting with Ricky Walden.
“At 3-0 I had a chance to go 4-0 but I messed it up,” said Trump. “After that I thought the match was going to go 5-4 either way. Luckily I made a good clearance in the end to win 5-3. Alan was in control for a lot of the match but he missed a few balls and I was able to clear.”
Walden beat Martin Gould 5-2 with top breaks of 86 and 56. “That’s the best I have played so far this season,” said two-time ranking event winner Walden. “I scored well and my safety was decent. Everyone is a bit rusty at the start of the season so I’m just trying to play my way into the tournament. Conditions here are without doubt the best on the tour.
“I’m looking forward to playing Judd now and I know I can get the result if I keep improving. We both play the game in a positive way.”
China’s Xiao Guodong edged out Peter Ebdon 5-4 in an exciting finish. Xiao trailed 4-3 when he made a superb 67 clearance to win the eighth frame from 61-0 down. He was also 46-0 down in the decider but eventually won it by clearing from blue to black.
“We both put a lot into that match and it was really tough,” said Xiao, who will now meet Matthew Stevens. “He played well through to the end which I didn’t expect. I tried my best even when I was 4-3 down, I didn’t give up like I used to.
“I’ve always wanted to bring my form from the practice table to matches. I have to stay cool no matter what the score is.
“I haven’t played much against Matthew Stevens but as a teenager I always loved to watch his game. He has a great record in World Championship. I watched his previous match and he played well to get into the quarter-finals. I have to play carefully tomorrow against a strong opponent like him.”
Stuart Bingham, who won this event in 2011, saw off Mark Joyce 5-2 with high scores of 57, 52 and 86. He said: “It wasn’t a vintage performance but as long as I get to five first it doesn’t matter how I win.”
Bingham’s next opponent is Mark Davis, who beat former World Champion Shaun Murphy 5-3. Davis built a 4-1 lead with top breaks of 80 and 67, and despite losing the next two, he dominated frame eight to secure victory.
“I played well and I didn’t miss much,” said Davis. “Any time you beat Shaun it’s a great result. He didn’t have a lot of run today and he had a few kicks, and sometimes that’s all it takes in a best of nine. I have done well in this tournament before, getting to the semi-finals two years ago, and I always enjoy it here.”