: Pankaj Advani created history by becoming the first Indian cueist ever to reach the pre-quarterfinals of the BetVictor Welsh Open Pro Snooker Series, defeating former world champion, England’s Shaun Murphy, 4-3 at Newport on Wednesday.

Eight time world champion Advani, the only active player to compete at the highest level in both billiards and snooker concurrently in the same season, reigned supreme at the green baize to enter the round of 16, where he would be facing either 2006 world champion Graeme Dott of Scotland or Ireland’s Fergal O’Brien in the next round.

“I’m ecstatic about this win. Defeating a player of Murphy’s calibre, that too in a main event, requires one to play out of his skin. I guess that’s what happened” said Advani. “The atmosphere was electrifying. Competing at such a high level and with family and friends all over the world watching live makes you realise you’re part of something massive. A grand occasion requires a grand approach,” added Advani, who became the youngest Indian ever to win eight world titles in any sport, following his world billiards title triumph in October last year in Leeds. — PTI

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