World champion John Higgins saw off a resilient Neil Robertson and world number one Ronnie O’Sullivan eased past Peter Ebdon as both men booked their place in the last eight of the UK Championship.
Higgins won a thrilling contest with Robertson 9-8 having earlier compromised a 4-1 lead to let his opponent back in.
Robertson opened the evening session with breaks of 127 and 78 to level things up, but Higgins again did enough to go back into the lead at 8-6.
But nerves appeared to affect Higgins and he made a couple of errors to once again open the door for Robertson.
Higgins, who lost out to the same opponent in a memorable semi-final in October’s Grand Prix, held his nerve in the decisive final frame.
O’Sullivan extended himself slightly less, hammering Ebdon 9-3.
He produced two hundred-plus breaks in the afternoon on his way to a 6-2 lead before taking three of the next four to secure his spot in the quarter-finals.