Ding Junhui
Ding Junhui moved a step closer to becoming the first player in 23 years to win three consecutive ranking events by beating Matthew Stevens 6-1 at the International Championship.

 

Not since Stephen Hendry won five on the bounce in 1990 has a player taken a trio of ranking crowns in a row, but Shanghai Masters and Indian Open champion Ding is now just three wins away from that feat, and faces Peter Ebdon next in the quarter-finals in Chengdu.

 

Breaks of 53, 77, 68 and 110 helped the Chinese ace to a comfortable win over Stevens.

 

"Neither of us played well in the first couple of frames and we both struggled with cueball control," said Ding. "I adjusted to the table better so I'm pleased with the result.

 

"I have played many matches against Peter Ebdon before and I know his rhythm in practice, it's not slow. He just treats each shot very carefully in competition and all I can do is to perform my own game."

 

Aside from Ding, world number two Mark Selby is the only player among the top ten in the rankings to reach the quarter-finals. The Leicester cueman saw off Stuart Bingham 6-1 with top runs of 69, 107, 90 and 64.

 

"I scored well and blocked Stuart out," said Selby, who now meets Marco Fu. "It's a big tournament and everyone wants to do well. Everyone left in the tournament is well capable of winning."

 

Liang Wenbo built on yesterday's win over Ronnie O'Sullivan with a 6-1 thrashing of Mark Davis. Asian Tour event three winner Liang compiled runs of 74, 88 and 78.

 

"Beating O'Sullivan gave me some confidence," said Liang. "I watched Ding and John Higgins play matches in India and I learned from them how to deal with key shots in competition. I applied some of that thinking in my own match and it worked so that's a good experience."

 

Ryan Day scored a 6-3 win over Fergal O'Brien, helped by breaks of 65, 55, 103, 96, 82 and 71.

 

"It was a very good standard," said Day. "This is my first quarter-final for a while and I'm just hoping to keep my form going."