Ronnie O’Sullivan is odds-on favourite to win this year’s English Open title after he came out on top in a pulsating encounter against John Higgins.
The five-times world champion beat one of his arch rivals 4-3 in one of the games of the tournament so far to book a place in the quarter-final line-up.
But there was a late shock in Barnsley as Judd Trump crashed out of the tournament losing 4-3 to close friend Jack Lisowski who continued his resurgence in form of late.
In his biggest test of the tournament so far, O’Sullivan produced the goods in a cracking tie against Higgins which went down to the wire.
Higgins started on fire with a break of 138 only for O’Sullivan to level almost immediately with a quick-fire run of 88.
The Scot regained the lead with a break of 73 only for O’Sullivan to respond again with a run of 84.
Higgins then moved 3-2 in front winning frame five with a break of 78 but O’Sullivan secured a comeback victory with breaks of 60 and 91 to win 4-3.
O’Sullivan will face Lisowski for the first time in professional snooker on Friday after the Esex star beat close friend Trump in another thrilling last 16 clash.
Trump looked odds on for victory when a break of 105 put him 3-2 to the good. But Lisowski fought back and an impressive break of 80 under huge pressure got him over the winning line.
Meanwhile, Australian Neil Robertson boosted his hopes of securing a Masters place in January after beating Indian star Aditya Mehta 4-1 to progress.
Robertson will next face Scotland’s Anthony McGill who came through a tough 4-3 win against 17-year-old talent Yan Bingtao of China.
ENGLISH OPEN – QUARTER-FINALS
Anthony McGill vs Neil Robertson
Jack Lisowski vs Ronnie O’Sullivan
Michael White vs Alexander Ursenbacher
Hossein Vafaei vs Kyren Wilson
The bottom half of the draw had earlier been blown wide open after world number one Mark Selby’s defeat to Xiao Guodong.
But Guodong was unable to keep up his winning run into the evening as he lost 4-0 to former Shanghai Masters winner Kyren Wilson.
Next up for Wilson is Iran’s Hossein Vafaei who followed up a superb win over Stuart Bingham earlier in the day with a 4-1 victory over Andrew Higginson.
Vafaei made the semi-finals of the China Open last season and appears to be impressing again on the big stage.
And the other quarter-final will see Welshman Michael White, who won this season’s Paul Hunter Classic, take on Alexander Ursenbacher of Switzerland.
Ursenbacher produced one of the displays of the day when he won four frames in a row to knock out former world champion Shaun Murphy.
After losing the opening frame, Ursenbacher – playing his first season back as a professional – hit breaks in consecutive frames of 76, 82 and 123 en-route to victory and his first ever major ranking quarter-final.
All four quarter-final matches take place on Friday and will be best-of-nine frames.