Australian Neil Robertson has surged into the third round of the English Open snooker championship at Milton Keynes, grinding down the tough Mark Joyce 4-2 in their best-of-seven encounter.
The former world champion was far from his most fluent, apart from an opening flourish at the behind-closed-doors venue when he compiled a 103 break in the first frame, but he ended up being delighted to repel the challenge of a doughty English opponent.
"He's a really good player who's beaten me a couple of times with fantastic performances so I'm really pleased with that, I needed to put in a decent performance," said Roberston, who has enjoyed a fine season, winning two ranking tournaments while currently residing at No.3 in the world.
As well as having to subdue a difficult opponent, it appeared Robertson's other most pressing problem was having to cope with the awkward moment when he split the pocket on his trousers while stretching across the table to play a shot.
A few of the frames could have gone either way and Joyce did miss his chances but the 31-year-old from Melbourne, although not as impressive as in his opening 4-0 win over Lyu Haotian in the first round, still had enough class to pinch the two pivotal and close-fought frames that took him from 1-1 to 3-1 up.
Later on Wednesday, world No.1 Judd Trump was forced to fight back from 3-1 down for the second match in a row to keep his hopes alive.
The 31-year-old from Bristol squeezed past Yuan Sijun 4-3 in the second round, just a day after avoiding a shock exit to Louis Heathcote in a similar close call.