Grand Prix 2009: Williams struggles through while Ebdon shines again

1993 Grand Prix champion Peter Ebdon is through to his first quarter-final of the season following a good win over Mark Davis while Mark Williams won a dour clash against friend and rival Stephen Hendry to join him…

Click here to see how the results have affected the provisional rankings.

Mark Williams 5-2 Stephen Hendry

50-37, 54-56, 54-22, 62-24, 78(47)-36, 60(57)-73(51), 63(55)-13

On paper this was one of the most attractive matches of the round but unfortunately the two legends failed to produce anywhere near their best form this afternoon in Glasgow.

Indeed home favourite Stephen Hendry in particular struggled, recording a high break of just 13 on his way into the interval 3-1 behind and though he improved slightly after the break, Mark did likewise and breaks of 47 and 55 eventually took him over the line a 5-2 winner.

Despite his poor performance Mark will be a happy man to move into the last eight where he will play the winner of this evening’s tie between Mark King and Robert Milkins – not Willie Thorne as he joked following the match! He will have to raise his game if he wants to go any further but if he can win tomorrow, he will be in the semi-finals of a ranking event for the first time since the 2006 China Open.

For Hendry however it is a very poor performance in front of his home crowd in Glasgow. His next competitive match will also be in Scotland when he takes on John Higgins in Aberdeen a week tonight so it will be interesting to see how he responds.

Peter Ebdon 5-3 Mark Davis

22-108(85), 60-53, 68-46, 40(40)-74(46), 8-94(87), 88(87)-0, 135(135)-0, 75(64)-22

The Force, Peter Ebdon continued to gather momentum today as he recovered from 3-2 down to end the hopes of Mark Davis in the last 16.

Despite the lack of spectators in the audience due to the match in progress on the other table, both Peter and Mark played to a good standard, going into the break level at 2-2 before two breaks of 87 moved the score on to 3-3. From there however it was Peter who showed his class, equalling the tournament high break of 135 to lead 4-3 before completing victory with 64 on frame eight. UK readers can view Peter’s century here.

After a torrid 18 months for Peter both on and off the table it seems that now he might be in a position to focus on his snooker career again and a focused Peter Ebdon is always going to be a threat! Having already ended the challenge of China’s number two player Liang Wenbo in the last 32 it now looks like he will have a crack at the number one as Ding Junhui currently leads Stephen Maguire 3-0 in the evening session. With both looking to be much-improved this week, it is not a match that I would like to predict with too much confidence…