Mark Selby and Judd Trump sent a statement to the rest of the European Masters' hopefuls as they appeared to be on top form against their respective opponents. Both players face challenging matches though as they look to take a step closer to Sunday's final.
No contest for two of the top four players in the World
Selby hammered Barry Hawkins 4-0 on his way to the last eight as he continues an excellent season as the current World Champion. The world number one has been victorious in 23 of his 28 matches this term and the result never looked in doubt depsite the Jester from Leicester only compiling one half century against Hawkins.
His quarter-final opponent is a potential banana skin and the surprise of the tournament so far, Alfie Burden. Ranked 64 places below Selby, Burden stunned Ricky Walden in a final frame decider. Burden flew into a 3-1 lead after losing the opener and withstood a Walden comeback with a winning break of 64 in frame seven.
After edging through to the second round, Judd Trump showed some imperious form against Andrew Higginson. Breaks of 61, 118 and 94 ensured that Higginson barely got any time at the table, scoring just 59 points in the entire contest.
Yet the World number four is likely to face tougher opposition in John Higgins, despite the Scotsman struggling for consistency against Tom Ford. Higgins found himself 2-1 and 3-2 down, before his first half century break set him up to dig in and take the final frame decider.
O'Sullivan and Robertson have still got more than a chance
After defeating Shuan Murphy in the opening round, Mark Davis added another top 20 scalp to his name as he saw off Liang Wenbo. Like Higgins, the World number 30 found himself behind twice but hit back with a gritty equaliser, before an excellent break of 107 secured his place in the final eight.
He will now face Ronnie O'Sullivan who is playing some of his best snooker this week. After Mark Allen took an early advantage with the week's highest break of 121, the pair traded blows in a high-scoring contest. Both players made half century breaks in frames two and three, with the Rocket edging them by three and four points respectively. O'Sullivan was then edged out by just five points as Allen drew level, before breaks of 77 and 80 secured victory for the former World Champion, following six frames that saw the same number of half centuries and that 121.
Two 2016/17 tournament winners meet in the final quarter-final, with Neil Robertson facing off against Anthony McGill. Robertson was in excellent form in the last 16 against young Rhys Clark, as breaks of 82, 61, 103 and 67 proved he is in with a shout of winning the competition after a 4-1 win.
The second round was not quite so straightforward for McGill as he was almost stunned by number 107 seed Scott Donaldson. The outsider twice came from behind to set up a final frame decider but McGill was able to lean on his superior experience to grind a route through.