JOHN Higgins showed signs of coming to back to form after he cruised into the Haikou World Open quarter-finals with a thumping win over Stuart Bingham.
The four-times world champion has suffered a dip in form in recent months going out in the early stages in the UK Championship, German Masters and the Welsh Open.
But the world number 5 pulled off one of the most surprising scorelines of the day with a brilliant 5-0 victory against the Welsh Open runner-up.
Breaks of 105 and 64 helped Higgins on his way to the last eight where he will meet fans favourite Ding Junhui who wrapped up a 5-2 win against Marco Fu.
Trailing 2-1, Ding made an excellent break of 127 to level the match at the interval. After the restart, Fu looked set to regain the lead until he missed on 56 in frame five, allowing Ding to make a cool 71 clearance and shade ahead at 3-2.
A run of 49 helped Ding extend his lead before he sealed victory after Fu fluked the last red but missed the vital blue to the top corner pocket.
Mark Allen closed in on defending the title he captured last year after beating Robert Milkins 5-2. Allen came back from 2-0 down with breaks of 82, 61 and 73 to clinch a place in the quarter-finals.
Next up for the Ulsterman will be Ricky Walden who fought off Welsh Open champion Stephen Maguire after pulling off a superb comeback.
Maguire looked well set to be in the last eight when he took a 4-2 lead but this season’s Wuxi Classic winner refused to give in and won the next three frames to clinch a dramatic win.
World number one Judd Trump was in great form as he hit three century breaks in a 5-1 win over Nigel Bond. The Bristol star will next play Matthew Stevens who beat Shaun Murphy 5-3 while playing with Mark Williams’ cue as his failed to arrive on his flight to China before the start of the tournament.
And Mark Selby will face Neil Robertson once again for a place in the semi-finals after both recorded fine wins today.
The world number two gained revenge on Barry Hawkins, who had knocked Selby out of the German Masters and the World Championship last season, with a crushing 5-1 win. Australian Robertson hammered fellow former world champion Graeme Dott 5-0.
Friday’s encounter will be a repeat of the Masters final in January which Selby won 10-6 and the UK Championship quarter-final back in December when the Jester from Leicester came back from 4-0 down to win 6-4.
All four quarter-final matches will be played on Friday before the business end of the competition takes place during the weekend.
Haikou World Open 2013 – Quarter-Final draw:
Mark ALLEN vs Ricky WALDEN
Ding JUNHUI vs John HIGGINS
Judd TRUMP vs Matthew STEVENS
Neil ROBERTSON vs Mark SELBY