Peter Ebdon broke the resolve of title-holder Ding Junhui tonight to secure a Maplin UK Championship semi-final against John Higgins.
The 2002 world champion ground out a 9-5 victory, as Ding’s hectic schedule finally appeared to catch up with him.
Winner of three gold medals at last week’s Asian Games in Qatar, the Chinese teenager was playing competitively for the ninth day out of 10 – and last Friday flew 3,000 miles from Doha to England.
Fatigue always looked likely to set in at some stage, and today Ding was unable to reproduce the form he showed against Ryan Day and Matthew Stevens in his opening two contests.
Ebdon raced into a 4-0 lead and was 6-2 ahead after the first session, which he ended by overturning a 44-point deficit with a break of 88.
A fightback looked on the cards tonight when the 19-year-old hauled himself back to just 6-5 down. But a respotted black which went Ebdon’s way then proved pivotal, and it became one-way traffic.
As Ding sat in his chair with his head bowed, clearly exhausted, the 36-year-old Dubai-based player completed his triumph in style with a break of 99.