Local favourite Ding Junhui moved into the second round of the Haikou Open with a 5-4 victory over Michael Holt.
The Chinese star led throughout but was forced to a deciding frame by the world No 27 before getting over the line with a break of 50.
Runs of 76 and 95 saw Ding race into a 2-0 lead, but was pegged back to 2-2 and 3-3 before a break of 65 saw him move within a frame of victory.
However, Holt hit back again with a break of 99 but was punished for missing an easy red and then a long plant as Ding wrapped up the win.
"Michael played well and I did well in several frames," he said. "It's hard to play your best during the opening match of a tournament. But I'll try my best. I'm still bothered by jet lag and I have to go to bed early in the evening."
Ding will face Marco Fu of Hong Kong in the second round after he defeated an out-of-sorts Mark Williams 5-2 in the evening session.
Williams moved ahead with a break of 86 but Fu capitalised on a rash of errors to reel off the next four frames.
There was no such joy for Ding's 15-year-old compatriot Lu Haotian, who was beaten 5-0 by world number two Mark Selby.
The reigning UK and Masters champion went 3-0 up with breaks of 52, 48 and 69 and then took the fourth frame with a composed 73 after Lu had been first in with 64.
A 57 and an exhibition clearance of 73 rubber-stamped Selby's passage to the last 16 where he will face Barry Hawkins, his conqueror at last year's World Championship.
"I thought I played quite well and I didn't give my opponent many chances," said Selby.
"Lu is a very good player and he'll learn a lot in the next three to four years - and maybe he can be a top 16 player like Ding."
Hawkins made breaks of 60, 93 and 112 in beating Ian Burns 5-1, while Nigel Bond received a bye after Ali Carter's withdrawal due to a recurrence of his Crohn's disease.
Zhao Xintong put up an admirable fight against Stuart Bingham, who led 3-0 before the wildcard battled back, winning a close fourth frame and making short work of the fifth.
The next was tense, Bingham clearing from the blue to level the scores and finally winning the frame after four minutes playing the re-spotted black, and he took the next at one visit to win 5-2.