Pankaj Advani continued his dream run in the Welsh Open Pro Snooker Series as the eight-time world champion on Thursday rewrote history by entering the quarter-finals of a major ranking event, defeating Scotland's Graeme Dott 4-1 at Newport, Wales.
Continuing his great run after ousting World No. 4 Shaun Murphy in his previous match, the reigning world billiards champion comfortably defeated 2006 world champion Dott to once again stamp his authority on the professional snooker circuit.
Advani had on Wednesday become the first Indian cueist ever to reach the pre-quarters of the Welsh Open when he overcame a spirited challenge from the former world champion Murphy 4-3 in the Round of 32.
Advani now awaits the winner of the last 16 clash between World No.2 Judd Trump and Andrew Higginson.
"Being the only Indian to make it to the quarters of any professional snooker ranking tournament ever is a huge high for me. I really have no words to express how amazing this feels. I hope this will translate into big steps forward in Indian snooker," Advani said.
Advani started with a bang in the first frame, compiling a fine break of 63 to take a 1-0 lead.
Denying Dott any chance to settle in, the 27-year-old Bangalorean constructed another frame-winning break of 73 to go 2-0 up.
Dott, currently ranked at 13, replied with a steady performance in the third to reduce the gap and make it 2-1.
However, Advani came back in the fourth with a 46 clearance to be one frame away from creating history. And the Indian did not disappoint. After missing the first colour attempt, Dott left the table not expecting that to be his last visit of the championship, as Advani executed a brilliant 100-break to storm into the quarters.
Apart from Dott and other legends on the game, Advani, the only active player to compete at the highest level in both billiards and snooker concurrently in the same season, has impressed the world with his unprecedented first year performance on the professional circuit.
Earlier this season, he defeated some of the big names in the Pro circuit like Steve Davis, Jimmy White, Nigel Bond, Alan McManus, Michael Holt, Mark King, Ryan Day and John Higgins.
Scores: 73(63)-7, 74(73)-1, 39-84, 75(46)-37, 100 (100)-1.
Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images for DAGOC