China's Fan Zhendong and Ding Ning beat top seeds Wong Chun Ting and Doo Hoi Kem of Hong Kong to reach the last 16 of the mixed doubles competition at the International Table Tennis Federation World Championships in Budapest.
Fan and Ding, the top seeds in the men's and women's singles draws respectively, dispatched their opponents 11-7, 11-9, 18-16, 11-5 to progress at the Hungexpo venue.
The Chinese duo, competing at their first major tournament together, arrived at the World Championships in the Hungarian capital with the primary target of winning their respective singles tournaments.
But they have emerged as serious contenders for the mixed doubles crown following an ominous start to the event.
Fan and Ding eased through their qualifiers yesterday and overcame Hungary's Nandor Ecseki and Dóra Madarász 11-1, 11-7, 5-11, 11-6, 11-5 in the first round this morning.
The victory set up a meeting with Wong and Doo, who will be ruing their tough draw following their straight games defeat to the Chinese pair.
France's Tristan Flore and Laura Gasnier, 11-1, 11-5, 11-13, 11-5, 11-4 winners over Ukraine's Yaroslav Zhmudenko and Solomiya Brateyko, are set to take on Fan and Ding for a place in the quarter-finals on Wednesday (April 24).
Fan and Ding both are due to begin their bids for individual glory on the opening day of main draw action tomorrow.
Ding, the reigning Olympic champion, plays Yousra Helmy of Egypt in the last 32 of the women's singles event, before Fan goes up against Frane Kojic of Croatia.