Neil Robertson twice narrowly missed out on claiming his 100th century break of the season on his way to booking his place in the quarter-finals of the Dafabet World Snooker Championships.
The world number one defeated Mark Allen 13-7 at the Crucible but his landmark 100th century will have to wait for another day after the Australian fell agonisingly short in the final two frames of the victory - missing pots when on 94 and 92.
The match resumed with Robertson leading Northern Ireland’s Allen 9-7, but the Melbourne-born cueman wasted no time in racing to victory, with breaks of 59, 69, 94 and 92 wrapping up the win.
“Throughout the whole match Mark kept sticking with me and I thought he played really well,” Robertson told BBC2 following his win.
“He’s always going to score really heavily but his safety was really good and I didn’t have many opportunities at long balls.
“I was really happy to be 4-4 and at 9-7 I was delighted because I won quite a lucky frame. I had quite an unbelievable fluke on the green, so to come out today, I knew I had to come out and play really well.
“Those last two frames I was like a cricketer on 190 or something like that. It was unfortunate. I missed the black with one red left and I thought I hit the black perfectly and I was about to celebrate but it rattled in the jaws.
“That frame there, I missed a really tough red down the cushion and I thought I hit it pretty good again but it wasn’t to be. The snooker gods are going to keep you guys waiting a little bit longer.”
Robertson admitted he would have loved to have struck his 100th century in the session in front of seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry.
“I was gutted because Hendry was in the commentary box as well and I would have loved to do it with him in there,” the Australian said.
“Hopefully for the next couple of sessions he can be in the box as it would be good to do it in front of him.”
Next up for the 32-year-old is the winner of the match between England’s Judd Trump and Welshman Ryan Day.
Trump leads their match ahead of the resumption in Monday night’s session, but Robertson knows to expect a tough test no matter who he faces in the last eight.
He added: “It probably looks like Judd Trump. He’s got a good lead, 10-6, so another player who will probably one day win the World Championships as well. I will just go out and play my game.”
Robertson proved his credentials as one of the world’s best matchplayers with his victory over Allen.
He claimed the 17th and 18th frames to leave his opponent with a mountain to climb before he missed an easy black into the bottom right pocket when on 94 in the next.
It did, however, mean the Australian only needed one more frame to book his place in the next round and he started off with intent, moving on to 33 before splitting the pack and potting a red for good measure.
He was left with a difficult blue but Robertson showed his skills to work his way through the scattered reds and looked on course again to reach the century of centuries landmark.
However, the curse of the nervous 90s struck again, with Robertson missing out when on 92, but despite that he booked his place in the quarter-finals.
In Monday’s other afternoon game, Dominic Dale claimed a 13-4 win over Michael Wasley after he won the one frame he needed to progress to the next round.