John Higgins produced a vintage display to book his place in the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship with a session to spare after sweeping past Kyren Wilson 13-2 at the Crucible.
The four-time champion – who had endured a disappointing season with a string of early exits from ranking events – continued where he had left off after defeating David Grace 10-3 in his opening match.
The veteran 47-year-old Scot never looked back as he built a commanding 8-0 lead in Sunday’s opening session.
It was a clinical start from Higgins, who produced 136 and 137 total clearances, with two more half-centuries further extending his lead.
Wilson, who had made a maximum 147 break in the first round, was troubled by his cue – continually checking both the tip and butt after missing what had looked routine chances.
Further breaks of 134 and 80 saw Higgins claim a remarkable first-session whitewash in the first-to-13 encounter.
Higgins edged the opening frame of the evening session 61-57 and then moved 10-0 ahead with another century break of 128.
Wilson finally got a frame on the board in the 11th with a run of 78, but it was Higgins who snatched the last before the mid-session interval as he recovered a points deficit of 60 with a snooker to edge closer to the quarter-finals.
Although Wilson pulled another back on the resumption, it was only delaying the inevitable, as Higgins took the 14th frame and then finished off the match with a break of 80 to book a 17th appearance in the last eight at the Crucible.
“I am over the moon just to beat Kyren, but to beat him with a session to spare I would never have believed that was possible,” Higgins said on Eurosport.
“I felt as if I could just play there all day. It felt really good, and you do not get that many times here.
“It was amazing to be 8-0 and it was in my mind to just share the session four-all and be 12-4 in front going into the third session, but it is a bonus winning it, I now get a day off.
“I have been feeling as if this has been coming for the past month, that I could go on a run of breaks, and that is what you need to do here because I am going to come up against that sooner rather than later.”
On Table One, Si Jiahui continued his memorable Crucible debut to move within sight of the quarter-finals as he took an 11-5 lead over Robert Milkins.
Resuming 6-2 ahead from Saturday, world number 80 Si, the lowest-ranked player in the tournament and who beat Shaun Murphy in the first round, pushed on again after Milkins had reduced the deficit with the opening frame.
Consistent scoring saw the 20-year-old further extend his lead and he looked on course to also complete victory with a session to spare before ‘the Milkman’ won the 14th frame with a break of 94.
Welsh Open champion Milkins, who had fought back from 7-2 down against Joe Perry in their interrupted first-round match, also took the next with a half-century break.
However, another composed clearance of 67 from Si put the Chinese player on the brink, within two frames of the quarter-finals when he returns on Monday afternoon.
Elsewhere in the second round, qualifier Anthony McGill also edged closer to the last eight after establishing an 11-5 advantage against Jack Lisowski.
It appeared the match would be all over on Sunday when McGill – who beat former champion Judd Trump in the first round – went 10-1 ahead before a run of four frames in a row for Lisowski.
Had the Englishman managed a fifth, nerves would really have been jangling for McGill, who began the session with a 7-1 advantage.
The Glaswegian, though, stopped Lisowski’s momentum to give himself some extra wriggle room heading into Monday evening’s conclusion.
Four-time world champion Mark Selby secured a 10-6 advantage over Gary Wilson.
Selby, bidding to regain the title he last claimed two years ago, resumed with a 5-3 lead.
Wilson won three of the first four frames to level at 6-6 before world number two Selby made breaks of 59, 91 and 71 to establish a defendable lead heading into the final session on Monday night.