Ding Junhui booked his place in the last 16 of the World Snooker Championship by brushing aside Xiao Guodong at the Crucible Theatre.
The Chinese superstar has yet to add a world title to his illustrious CV but made the final two years ago and enjoyed another good run here when a semi-finalist last season.
Early indications are that he could be set to lay down another bold challenge with his performance this morning nothing short of breathtaking.
Xiao was quickest out of the blocks in the first session, breaks of 82 and 54 taking him into a 2-0 lead before Ding levelled things up by winning two scrappy frames.
A flawless run of 124 saw Ding take a 3-2 lead before the next two frames were shared.
Breaks of 57 and 72 ensured Ding led 6-3 overnight but it was his performance this morning that impressed most.
Ding rattled off four frames without reply, including contributions of 61, 78, 51, and 98, to see the world number three safely through to the last 16.
Ding told www.worldsnooker.com: "I played well in the end, I just went for my shots and made some breaks.
"I didn't play a lot of safety, I just went for the shots without caring.
"I'm confident in my form but I try not to worry about form too much, I'm just looking forward to another chance.
"It's good to smile out there, it takes the pressure away if I play some bad shots.
"I'd like to play Ronnie O'Sullivan later in the tournament because I want to improve myself and I want to play the hardest ones to beat, to test myself."
Bingham knocked out by Lisowski
Stuart Bingham very nearly made a maximum break in the final frame of the first session of his match with Jack Lisowski but eventually found the young qualifier too strong at the Crucible.
Lisowski made two centuries as he raced into a 5-2 lead but Bingham was playing some high-quality snooker himself and took the last two frames of the opening session.
The first four frames of the evening session were shared, leaving Lisowski 7-6 in front, but those anticipating a close finish were to be disappointed.
Lisowski reeled off the next two frames before responding to Bingham's run off 55 in frame 16 by pinching the 17th to seal a memorable 10-7 victory..
Walden waltzes past Brecel
Ricky Walden claimed the scalp of Luca Brecel when winning their first-round encounter 10-6.
Walden enjoyed much the better of the opening session on Monday, breaks of 68, 105, 90, 74 and 76 helping him establish a 6-3 lead overnight.
A sublime run of 122 saw Walden take the opening frame of the second session and although Brecel won three of the next four to reduce his arrears to 6-8, Walden would not be denied.
The 15th frame took him within one of victory and a break of 60 saw the qualifier put the match the bed and seal his place in the last 16.
Williams make strong start
2000 and 2003 winner Mark Williams made a fine start to his bid for a third world title when dominating the opening the session of his first-round match with Jimmy Robertson.
The Welshman has enjoyed something of a renaissance this season, winning the Northern Ireland Open and German Masters, and he looked in similarly good form here as he built a 7-2 lead over Robertson.
A break of 105 in frame four was the highlight of Williams' afternoon work but he also made three more 50+ contributions before Robertson gave himself a glimmer of hope by taking the final frame of the session.
Robertson in trouble as Milkins gets going
Neil Robertson found himself in early trouble and trails Robert Milkins 3-6 in their first-round match.
The Australian has endured an inconsistent campaign and again looked out of sorts in the early exchanges here, trailing 1-3 at the mid-session interval.
Robertson did respond but Milkins continued to dominate proceedings and ended the session with a handy three-frame advantage.
Related snooker links
- World Snooker specials preview
- Higgins counts on Crucible experience
- Richard Mann's top 16 player profiles
- Sky Bet's snooker odds
- 2017/18 snooker calendar