Neil Robertson proved too strong for fellow former champion Shaun Murphy and appears in relaxed mood for his Crucible bid.
Neil Robertson says playing with the intention of entertaining the crowd is allowing him to play his best snooker at the Betfred World Championship.
The Australian has already described this season as his best ever, winning the Riga Masters, Welsh Open and China Open, while also reaching three further finals.
Having won at the Crucible in 2010, Robertson is the 2/1 favourite with Betfred to repeat that success nine years later and had no issues against Shaun Murphy in the last 16.
In what was tipped to be a classic between two former world champions, the 37-year-old was simply too good, returning for the evening session leading 10-6 and showing a clean pair of heels from there.
An immediate century extended Robertson’s advantage before a well-built 88 and another half-century, his ninth of the match, completed the victory.
Either John Higgins or Stuart Bingham (Match Betting – Higgins 8/11, Bingham 11/10) await in the quarters and after making it through to the last eight for the seventh time in his career, ‘The Thunder from Down Under’ credited his relaxed attitude for his fine form in Sheffield.
“Coming in 10-6 ahead was a really good lead and I played well,” he said. “Against Shaun I knew I had to play well to win.
“I am just playing. I really want to win but I am not worrying about the results and just playing to entertain the crowd.”
Elsewhere on Friday evening, a late show from Stephen Maguire gave him a 9-7 overnight lead against amateur James Cahill.
The pair traded frames upon their resumption but the two-time world semi-finalist recorded a half-century and a 127 to go clear before the pair resume on Saturday afternoon.
Odds subject to change.