Neil Robertson finished with two centuries to close out a nervy 10-6 win against an obstinate Mark Allen in the Tour Championship quarter-finals having earlier led 7-0 in Llandudno.
The defending champion rolled in superb knocks of 125, 103, 125, 121, 130, 76, 94 and 68, but was made to sweat with fellow Masters winner Allen winning six out of seven frames to trail 8-6 despite making high breaks of only 66 and 70.
Robertson – who is chasing a fourth major title of the season after lifting the English Open, Masters and Players Championship – will next face Ronnie O'Sullivan or Mark Williams on Friday as he continues his quest for back-to-back titles at the elite eight-man event.
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“I’m very proud, because Mark asked a lot of questions tonight," said the World No 4, who described himself as one of the all-time snooker greats earlier this month.
I had many answers – he just kind of had answers for my answers. His safety was incredible and shut me out.
“I was trying to be aggressive with safeties and long potting whenever I could, but it felt like I hardly even attempted a long ball tonight.
“I couldn’t really get the balls open in a good way. He was playing a lot of thin safeties where he was snookering me a lot behind the baulk colours."
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“The fact that I was asked a lot of questions and came up with the goods when it really mattered, that sends a lot of positive signals to me that I can withstand anything," said Robertson speaking to World Snooker Tour media.
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“I can put my foot down and run away with a match and I can also respond to when someone is coming back strong as well.
"This is one of the tournaments when, as soon as all the players start the season, they’re desperate to get into it.
“Only the top eight in the world on the one-year list, so even if you have a great season you still may not even get in it.
It’s absolutely brutal. All the players here are in brilliant form as well, it’s a fantastic field again this year and I’m going to have to play really well to win.
Tour Championship results
Monday, March 28
- Zhao Xintong  9-10 John Higgins 
Tuesday, March 29
- Neil Robertson  10-6 Mark Allen 
Wednesday, March 30
- Ronnie O'Sullivan  v Mark Williams 
Thursday, March 31
- Judd Trump  v Luca Brecel 
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