Mark Allen set up a last 16 showdown tomorrow morning with world number two Stephen Maguire at the Sanyuan China Open in Beijing thanks to a crushing 5-1 win over 2006 world champion Graeme Dott.
The highlight of the Antrim potter’s victory over the Scot was a break of 102.
World number 11 Allen, who won the Jiangsu Classic in China last summer, will obviously start as underdog against high-flying Maguire, who yesterday beat Barry Hawkins 5-3.
“It’s a tough match but winning in China last summer was a big boost and it would be great to follow it up by winning a first ranking tournament,” said 24-year-old Allen.
Northern Ireland international Gerard Greene went down 5-3 yesterday to home favourite Ding Junhui.
Meanwhile, new snooker supremo Barry Hearn yesterday revealed his blueprint for the game.
Hearn’s Matchroom Sport business may take a controlling interest in the commercial side of snooker.
The plans — which also include more tournaments and a rise in prize money — are subject to a vote next where the players will decide if they back Hearn. That vote is scheduled for May 5, two days after the Betfred.com World Championship final.