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Robertson, Walden into last eight after thrillers

ESPN staff
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Robertson will feel fortunate to be in the quarter-finals © PA Photos
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Neil Robertson snatched victory from the jaws of defeat to earn a place in the last eight of the Masters and dump Mark Allen out of the competition at Alexandra Palace.

The world No. 1 was far from his best and, despite not leading at any point in the match, he always remained within a single frame of Allen.

At 5-4 down and facing a first-round exit in a competition at which he has been a winner and a runner-up in the last two years, Robertson forced a deciding frame before rattling home a break of 59 to set up a quarter-final against Stephen Maguire.

Coming back from the interval at 2-2, both players failed to capitalise on chances to take the lead in the fifth frame.

And, with Robertson missing a straightforward pink when leading by 14 points, Allen recorded a break of 38 to take the lead for a third time.

But the Australian found his touch again to level at 3-3 thanks to a century break, featuring an extravagant double after the frame was made safe.

Another mistake allowed Allen to take the lead again at 4-3, but in the eighth frame Robertson's 41 ended when he missed frame ball - though he eventually potted it and Allen conceded despite all six colours still on the table.

Allen took the lead for a fifth time with a 52, but Robertson again levelled before going on to take the decider in a remarkable first-round tie.

Joining Robertson in the quarter-finals is Ricky Walden, who staged a remarkable comeback against Barry Hawkins.

Hawkins led 3-0, 4-1 and 5-2 before Walden won three in a row to level the match.

Then it was Walden who held his nerve in a deciding frame riddled with mistakes from both players.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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