Peter Ebdon
Peter Ebdon saw off home favourite Ding Junhui 6-3 to set up a final against Stephen Maguire in at the Bank of Beijing China Open.


Ebdon won five frames in a row to come back from being 3-1 down to win 6-3 and book his place in the final.


The veteran cueman won the first frame with a break of 67 but was pegged back and then over-taken by China's top player who went into the interval with a two frame lead after making impressive breaks of 87 in the second and 83 in the fourth.


But after the intermission the intelligent safety play of Ebdon and pressure from the partisan crowd got to Ding and his top break was just 23 in the next five frames.


Ebdon, the 2002 World Champion, won the fifth and sixth with 54 and 69 breaks respectively to level the scores. Ding hadn't looked uncomfortable until the seventh frame, but when leading 51-44, the pressure of a nation told. Ding missed a straight blue allowing Ebdon in to clear the last three colours and take the lead 4-3. A tense frame followed and again the weight of expectation got to the man all the fans were here to see. Ding missed a potable black and 41-year-old Ebdon punished the error recording a 68 in the process for 5-3.


Ebdon, who won this tournament in 2009, won the match emphatically with breaks of 64 and 58 in the ninth frame and now plays 2008 China Open winner Stephen Maguire in Sunday's final.


Ebdon said: "I'm absolutely delighted, it's my first final for a long time. Without any shadow of doubt, that would be one of the best wins of my career. Partly because of how much respect I have for Ding. He's a very nice young man, and he's one of the most gifted snooker players I've ever seen. So I'm very pleased to beat him in China, in front of his home crowd, and have to play well, really well, especially since he played almost faultless snooker before the interval. I've had quite a long career now, 20 years, I think this is my 21st season, but that would definitely be one of the best wins in my career."


"I think I started off quite well, and then Ding just played almost perfect snooker. His touch, his control in amongst the balls, his safety, his long potting was just fantastic. The game, in a way, was very similar to the game I had against John Higgins. And I joked with John Higgins after the match, when I shook his hand, I said to him 'I was waiting for you to throw the kitchen sink at me.' Because he literally did everything else bar that. He played fantastic snooker, and I think Ding played equally incredible snooker before the interval. I'm so delighted to come back and win a match like that, because he is one of the top snooker players in the world, and one of the greatest players I've seen anyway, in terms of ability.


"I'd put Ding right up there with pretty much the best players I've ever played. You don't get praise any higher than that, because takes into consideration the likes of Stephen Hendry, John Higgins, Ronnie O'Sullivan. That's how good, in my opinion, Ding is. I think he's so good, that he will, in time, join the great players who have won 20 ranking tournaments or more. I'd be surprised if he's not a multiple world-champion. He's going to win lots and lots of tournaments. I think his game is maturing over time. I think he's ready to become world champion."