Ebdon conquers China Open; Englishman takes title in Beijing
Peter Ebdon recorded a thrilling 10-9 victory over Stephen Maguire to win the 2012 China Open edition.
The Englishman, who was crowned world champion at the Crucible 10 years ago, survived a snooker marathon that lasted almost eight hours going all the way through the last frame.
Both Maguire and Ebdon are no strangers to lifting the golden Chinese trophy at the end of the tournament. The Scotsman won it in 2008, a year later Ebdon was crowned champion in Beijing, reason enough for the them to engage in a genuine battle of cues that kept the audience on their toes.
A shortened first session saw Ebdon taking control of the match by firing in breaks of 31, 32, 107, 64 and 124 for a 5-1 scoreline, Maguire not being given the chance to settle in thus struggling to find a rhythm.
However, as the last session was kicking off, the Scotsman managed to pull back a frame with a top break of 84, before Ebdon went to re-establish the four-frame gap using a 52. The next couple of frames entered into Maguire’s account, the 2012 German Masters runner-up being now just two frames behind his green baize rival with the mid-session interval ready to start.
15 minutes later Ebdon was striking again, this time with a 103 break, the scoreline becoming 8-5. It was crystal clear that Maguire had to chance his tactics. Said and done, as the Scotsman fired in runs of 70, 36, 40 and 97 to perform a complete comeback. The scoreboard was showing an equitable 8-8 scoreline.
The 17th frame was dominated entirely by the 2002 world champion, Ebdon booking himself a spot closer to the finish-line at 9-8 by hitting the 300th century break of his career (103).
Maguire though wasn’t going to let the pressure of such a score get to him, with just a top break of 42 points successfully managing to force a decider and prolong the snooker marathon. A bit scrappy and with a lot of tension involved, the last frame saw the players taking turns at the table until finally Ebdon closed the deal at 10-9.
Before reaching the final, Peter Ebdon beat wildcard Lu Haotian, Matthew Stevens, John Higgins, Neil Robertson and Ding Junhui. Although he hasn’t had a very prolific season, indeed this was his best performance so far, his victory proves it’s never too late to get back on track, and he will now be looking towards the biggest ranking event lurking just around the corner, the World Championship.