With just seven games remaining in the 2017/18 season before the Crucible seeds are decided, Jack Lisowski and Tom Ford have kept their slender hopes of qualification alive by making the quarter-finals of the China Open.
However, either player must win the competition if one of them are going to bypass three gruelling qualification rounds to make the World Championships at the end of the month.
Lisowski looking strong
Lisowski has been in impressive form, losing just five frames in three matches despite being seeded 37th. A 6-2 victory against John Higgins was the standout result of the second round before he repeated the feat against Gary Wilson.
Tom Ford has enjoyed a much easier route to the last eight with Elliot Slessor the only man ranked inside the top 100 who he has been faced with. The number 34 seed also ended the run of amateur Luo Honghao who stunned Anthony McGill in the first round.
Maximum breaks and close encounters
The third round proved to be a challenging day for the Chinese contingent with all five players left in the competition defeated by their respective opponents. Mark Selby continued to work towards a confidence-boosting title as he thrashed Lu Haotian 6-1. The local favourite has scored eight half-century breaks in his second round contest with Fergal O'Brien.
Zhou Yuelong saw his Crucible hopes fade after being defeated by Neil Robertson whilst Cao Yupeng lost a final frame decider against Barry Hawkins.
Yet two matches could not have been any closer. Ding Junhui and Mark Allen both lost on the final black against their respective contests against Kyren Wilson and Mark Williams.
Meanwhile, Stuart Bingham eased past Graeme Dott to end the Scotsman's hopes of automatic World Championship qualification after Bingham formulated a maximum break in his tight 6-5 victory over Ricky Walden. It was the second 147 of the week after Ronnie O'Sullivan was on target despite losing his opening round contest against Elliot Slessor.
The quarter-final schedule reads as follows:
Mark Selby  v Mark J Williams 
Jack Lisowski  v Kyren Wilson 
Neil Robertson  v Stuart Bingham 
Barry Hawkins  v Tom Ford