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Ebdon Edges Trump Thriller

 Peter Ebdon

Peter Ebdon came through a tough match against Judd Trump 5-4 to keep alive the defence of his Sanyuan Foods China Open title...and boost his hopes of retaining his top 16 ranking.


 Ebdon stands 18th on the provisional list so defeat today would have put his elite status in severe danger, with only the World Snooker Championship to follow before the official list is revised.

But Ebdon, who beat John Higgins 10-8 in the final here last year, showed typical resolve to get the better of Bristol's Trump despite being well below his best.

Breaks of 55 and 60 helped the former World Champion to a 3-1 interval lead. Trump then won two scrappy frames before Ebdon rolled in a 130 for 4-3. He had chances to seal the match in the next but missed the final pink to a centre pocket and Trump potted pink and black. Ebdon, however, was always in control of the decider and won it in three scoring visits.

"It wasn't a fantastic match," 39-year-old Ebdon admitted. "Judd is a tough opponent, you can see his class and his cue power. I had my fair share of luck, but as Gary Player said, the more you practise, the luckier you get.

"The table was beautiful, it was very fast and difficult to control the white. It was warm in there as well, I think I lost about 20 kilos."

Stephen Hendry continued his record of winning all of his first round matches in ranking events this season with a 5-2 defeat of Andrew Higginson. He now meets Ryan Day with the chance to get to his first ranking quarter-final of the campaign.

Seven-times World Champion Hendry made a break of 55 in the opening frame, then Higginson had a chance to steal it, but after excellent pots on the blue and pink he played a weak safety on the black and Hendry thumped it home from distance.

The next also came down to the colours, Higginson enjoying a timely fluke on the pink as it rattled in the jaws of one pocket and dropped into the opposite bag, and he added the black for 1-1. Scotland's Hendry then stamped his authority on the game with a 132 total clearance.

Higginson levelled again, but the Widnes pro scored just 38 points after the interval as Hendry ran out the last three frames with top runs of 73, 42 and 69.

"I'm quite pleased with the form I showed today, I missed a couple of balls but I'm happy to be in the next round,” said Hendry. “My biggest asset has always been making big breaks, which shows in the number of centuries I've made during my career, and I'm always happiest when I'm around the pink or black.

"I've always enjoyed coming here to China and I have a lot of fans here. Maybe I try too hard to succeed. The arena was very full today and I felt pressure to play good snooker for the fans."

Ali Carter cruised to a 5-1 win over Chinese wild card Liu Chuang with top runs of 68, 52 and 53.


Mark King had a tough battle against James Wattana, coming from 4-2 down to win 5-4 with breaks of 74, 56 and 100 to win the last three frames.


31st March 2010, 20:43
Page updated 31st Mar 2010, 20:43
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