Judd Trump beat Dominic Dale 6-4 at the UK Championship to set up a second-round meeting with Ronnie O'Sullivan.
World number seven Trump trailed 4-2 before kickstarting his comeback by winning the vital seventh frame.
But he was grateful for a huge slice of luck when he missed a pink that ricocheted into another pocket as he was already returning to his seat.
Northern Ireland's Mark Allen is also through to the last 16 in York after beating Adrian Gunnell 6-3.
Allen will play former World Championship runner-up Ali Carter, who beat Robert Milkins 6-4.
Crucible runner-up Trump is now aiming to claim the prized scalp of four-time UK champion O'Sullivan.
The 22-year-old told BBC Sport: "I've played Ronnie a couple of times recently and they have been good games.
"If I bring my best game, I can scare him early on and it will be a terrific contest.
"The form he has shown this season and in the first round, he is definitely the favourite for our match and the whole tournament now."
Trump admitted that good fortune helped him in his match against Welshman Dale.
"Up until then it was all going his way, but I think that [seventh] frame was the turning point. He started to miss a few after that and I capitalised on that," he said.
"I didn't play too badly but it was scrappy in some of the frames. I made a few big breaks and felt good in the balls but just hit the bad shot now and again. I need to cut the silly mistakes out."
After reaching the world final in Sheffield last season, where he was defeated 18-15 by John Higgins, the attention is on Trump to perform well at tournaments and entertain the crowd.
"There is definitely more of the spotlight on me now and everyone is watching, expecting me to play well all the time now and wanting me to pot all the long balls," he said.
"I enjoy having the pressure on me. It's nice going in to a match being expected to win and hopefully I can achieve that against Ronnie."
Ricky Walden reached the second round with a 6-3 victory over Stephen Lee.
Lee scored the game's only century break (103) in the sixth frame to bring the scores level at 3-3.
But Walden, 29, racked up the next three frames, including a break of 98, to seal the win.
He will face Mark Williams in the last 16 after the Welshman beat Joe Jogia 6-4 in a nervy contest.
World number two Williams was far from his best and was feeling the pressure when Jogia won two frames to pull the game level at 4-4.
But Jogia picked up a bad kick when potting an easy black and Williams seized on the opportunity to regain the lead and went on to win the 10th frame and the match.