Judd Trump survived a test of nerve on a day his form deserted him to edge through to the second round of the Dafabet World Championship.
Runner-up to John Higgins in Sheffield in 2011, Trump was well beaten in the semi-finals by Ronnie O'Sullivan last year and has endured a distinctly mediocre 2013-14 season, with a run to the German Masters final his best achievement by far.
The Crucible finale presented Trump with a chance to put it all right, but the 24-year-old was drastically out of sorts in the second session of his clash with Tom Ford, seeing a 6-2 overnight lead reined in.
Ford got back to 8-8, and another major shock, after the early defeats for Ding Junhui and John Higgins, was in the offing.
But with his tournament hanging in the balance, Trump dug deep and ground out two attritional frames to win 10-8 and set up a second-round clash with Ryan Day.
Trump said he felt "relief" at reaching the last 16, admitting: "Every time I got in I didn't feel comfortable."
But he added: "It doesn't matter how you play if you become world champion."
The Jimmy Choo shoes Trump wore were the only thing that sparkled about the session for the 24-year-old.
"I just got bored and started to take everything on," Trump said. "If I carried on playing like I was then he would have won.
"He played quite slow. I think the pressure got to him probably and he started to doubt himself and think about things a little too much."
Former number one Trump has slipped from third to eighth in the world rankings this season.
He tried to be positive, adding: "There have been world champions in the past that haven't played well and won.
"The thing for me is to not get too disheartened."
Trump was joined in the second round by last year's World Championship runner-up Barry Hawkins as he ran out a convincing 10-4 winner over David Gilbert.
Hong Kong's Marco Fu clinched a last-16 tussle with Shaun Murphy by fending off Martin Gould 10-7, avenging the first-round Crucible defeats he suffered against Gould in 2010 and 2011.
The 2010 world champion Neil Robertson took his season's century count to a remarkable 95 with runs of 132 and 103 in establishing a 7-2 lead over Robbie Williams.
Meanwhile, Northern Ireland's Mark Allen defeated Michael Holt 10-4 in the evening session.