Indian ace cueist Pankaj Advani stormed into the quarterfinals of the BetVictor Welsh Open at Newport, Wales, on Thursday.
A day after he slammed the door on former world champion Shaun Murphy, Advani oozed class yet again as he vanquished Scotsman Graeme Dott 4-1 (73 (63)-7 , 74 (73)-1 , 39-84, 75 (46)-37, 100 (100)-1) to become the first Indian to enter the last-eight stage of a major event on the professional snooker circuit.
“Being the only Indian to make it to the quarters of any professional snooker ranking tournament ever is a huge high for me,” said an ecstatic Advani via a statement. “I really have no words to express how amazing this feels. I hope this will translate into big steps forward in Indian snooker.”
Reigning world billiards champion Advani started his last-16 tie against 2006 world snooker champion Dott with a bang, compiling a fine break of 63 points. Denying Dott any chance to settle in, Advani scored another frame-winning break of 73 to go 2-0 up.
Dott, currently ranked 13, replied with a steady performance in the third to reduce the gap and make it 2-1. However, Advani bounced back in the fourth, a 46-point clearance putting him within one frame of victory. The 27-year-old Bangalorean then finished off the tie in style, smashing an exact century break to gallop home.
Advani now awaits the winner of the last-16 clash between World No 2 Judd Trump and Andrew Higginson.