Judd Trump saw off Xu Si 4-0 at the Cazoo British Open and has lost just one frame in his three matches so far in Milton Keynes, but could face a much tougher challenge against Mark Allen in the last 16.
Last 16 matches on Thursday evening:
Mark Selby v Jack Lisowski
Anthony Hamilton v Yuan Sijun
Jamie Jones v Ben Woollaston
Robbie Williams v Steven Hallworth
Mark Allen v Judd Trump
Graeme Dott v Ryan Day
Noppon Saengkham v Jordan Brown
Lyu Haotian v Matthew Stevens
Trump is seeking his first title since he lifted the Turkish Masters trophy in March and looks favourite for the £100,000 top prize this week, which would put him ahead of Ronnie O’Sullivan at the summit of the world rankings.
He might have lost the opening frame against Xu, but the Chinese cueman’s attempted clearance ended when he missed a routine pot on the final pink. Trump capitalised and went on to take the next three frames with top runs of 62 and 130.
“No one has played their best against me yet,” admitted Trump. “The draw is getting tougher now so we’ll see what I really have in the tank. Mark Allen can be one of the best in the world on his day so that’s a big test. That kind of pressure tends to bring the best out of me.”
Northern Ireland’s Allen saw off Gary Wilson 4-2 with top breaks of 98, 52, 82 and 78.
Trump and Mark Selby are the only members of the world’s top ten still in the field. China’s Zhao Xintong, ranked seventh, suffered a 4-1 reverse against Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham. After losing the first frame, Zhao made a 77 for 1-1, then made a 64 in frame three, only for his opponent to clear with 67. That proved the turning point as Saengkham took a scrappy fourth frame then sealed victory in the fifth with an 89 clearance.
“I was excited to play Zhao and I enjoyed it,” said Saengkham. “After I won the third frame he felt uncomfortable and there was pressure on him. I am always trying new things in practice and trying to improve.”
World number 61 Robbie Williams top scored with 96 in a 4-2 win over Ding Junhui, while Ryan Day made a 103 in a 4-1 defeat of Jimmy Robertson. Former Welsh Open champion Jordan Brown edged out Yan Bingtao 4-3 with a top break of 134.