Well, Luca Brecel did it after a right old slog at the Barbican Centre last night, beating Ricky Walden 6-5 in a late night burn-up in York.
This was a match whose quality gradually dipped, which had the effect of increasing the dramatic tension. Snooker often does this and it’s one of the reasons the sport has been so successful on television. It can deliver different kinds of matches.
For instance, you could only marvel at Neil Robertson’s exhibition snooker in making four centuries to dismiss Tom Ford 6-1. This was the game played at the highest standard.
But a right old grind when the nerves are jangling – even if the standard is much lower – is also compulsive viewing.
Brecel was right to be jubilant at the win. It’s a good one. He may still be a little raw but he seems to relish being out there. It all bodes well for the future.
He plays Mark King next after the Romford man beat a below par Mark Williams 6-3.
Williams was disgusted with his own performance. He seems to be lacking confidence. It shows how hard a game snooker is if even the true greats can struggle for self belief.
But King was impressive. He has quietly had some good results in the run-in to this tournament, qualifying for both the European Tour event in Munich in January and the German Masters.
Poor Dominic Dale looked wretched and fears he may have shingles. Credit to him for even turning up, but he was turned over, 6-1 by Matthew Stevens.
The last 16 gets underway today with Stevens up against Marco Fu and Ali Carter taking on Mark Joyce this afternoon.
Tonight it’s Stephen Maguire against Stuart Bingham and Shaun Murphy against the man who replaced him as world champion in 2006, Graeme Dott.
Will the winner come from this octet?
Well, Stevens, Maguire and Murphy have all won the UK title before and only Joyce has failed to win a ranking title.
He beat Carter in the UK Championship two years ago but this was after Ali had been in hospital undergoing treatment for Crohn’s disease.
Carter has hopefully weathered this storm. It affected him so badly last season that he threatened retirement but he stuck at it and of course went on to reach a second world final.
Maguire v Bingham could well prove to be the match of the day. The Scot made three successive centuries during his first round match and Bingham is super-confident with the run he’s been on.