Yan Bingtao overcame a slow start to claim a 4-1 win over Xu Si to reach the second round of the Welsh Open.
The Chinese star had not been seen in competitive action since beating John Higgins to win the Masters on January 17.
He looked rusty at the start and Xu struck early to raise the prospect of an upset, but the 21-year-old snuffed out the threat in impressive fashion with a couple of century breaks.
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Yan looked off colour early in the contest and a break of 66 from Xu secured the underdog the opening frame.
The second frame was similarly scratchy, but a half-century from Yan levelled the contest.
The third frame saw Yan go through the gears, and a break of 127 secured him a cushion in the match.
Yan Bingtao knocks in break of 127 against Xu Si
Yan requires a decent run this week in order to secure his place at the Players Championship - an event he reached the final of 12 months ago.
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His cue-ball control was awry on occasions, but he remedied the issues with some excellent pots and followed up his century in the third with a break of 104 in the fourth to move within one frame of victory.
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Xu lost all composure once Yan found his stride and a poor safety shot in the fifth handed the table to the Masters champion who closed out the match with a break of 51.
In the early hours, Kyren Wilson won through against Chen Zifan, 4-2.
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh had a 147 in his grasp only to falter on the colours, and he surrendered a 3-0 lead to lose 4-3 to Sam Craigie.
Ali Carter trailed three times in his match, but got in front when it mattered to beat Daniel Wells 4-3.
David Gilbert has shown signs of a revival in 2021 and he knocked in a 101 and two half centuries in his 4-0 win over Rory McLeod.
Williams battles back to beat defending Masters champion Yan Bingtao
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