International Championship: Peter Ebdon progresses at Neil Robertson's expense
Last Updated: 30/10/13 4:14pm
Peter Ebdon progresses at Neil Robertson's expense on Wednesday
Veteran Peter Ebdon is through to the quarter-finals of the International Championship in China after upsetting world No 1 Neil Robertson 6-5 on Wednesday.
Former world champion Ebdon edged a tight deciding frame to topple Robertson 6-5 and set up a clash with in-form Ding Junhui, who is targeting the rarely achieved feat of three successive major ranking titles.
Robertson was frustrated by the slow pace of the match, even though the typically pedestrian Ebdon was trying to step up a gear.
"I tried to play more quickly today and I've already had a few messages from people back in the UK saying I look better when I'm getting on with it. I felt as if I was competing."
But the Australian gave Ebdon credit for his determination to see the job through, and move a step closer to the £125,000 winners' prize.
Ebdon led 5-3 after breaks of 134, 87, 53 and 87, but Robertson pegged him back before fortune favoured the 43-year-old Englishman in the crucial 11th frame.
Robertson said: "Peter is one of the all-time greats and he gives a pint of blood for every shot.
"He's a very tough opponent and I'm proud of the way I came back, pretty much anyone else on the tour would have lost 6-3. From 3-1 to 5-3, the frames were going for 30 minutes even when he was making big breaks. It makes it very difficult to get any rhythm going.
"I guess it's a shame I didn't get to play Ding in the quarter-finals as we're the best two players in the world at the moment. If Peter plays Ding and plays like he did today I think he will probably win. Ding will have to be very patient and maintain a good temperament."
Ebdon said on worldsnooker.com: "I tried to play more quickly today and I've already had a few messages from people back in the UK saying I look better when I'm getting on with it. I felt as if I was competing."
Making waves in the Far East is nothing new for Ebdon, who won the 2009 and 2012 China Open titles, and he revealed hitting the swimming pool has helped get his game on track.
"I have been struggling for a while to get back into form," Ebdon said. "I've been working hard on my game and doing a lot of swimming. Last season I had a few back, neck and shoulder problems which stopped me swimming, which made a big difference."
Ding has won the recent Shanghai Masters and Indian Open and a third straight title is a realistic target after China's top player delighted the Chengdu crowds in a 6-1 win over Wales' Matthew Stevens, finishing off with a 110 break.
Mark Selby, the reigning UK and Masters champion, beat fellow Englishman Stuart Bingham 6-1 and will face Hong Kong's Marco Fu next. Fu defeated Chinese 16-year-old Zhao Xintong 6-2.
Another Chinese player, Liang Wenbo, beat England's Mark Davis 6-1 to earn a quarter-final shot at Scotland's Graeme Dott, who beat Norwegian Kurt Maflin 6-5.
Cambridgeshire cueman Joe Perry claimed the scalp of Antrim's Mark Allen, his 6-4 victory setting up a clash with Welshman Ryan Day, a 6-3 winner over Dubliner Fergal O'Brien.