CHINA Open specialist Peter Ebdon struck again in Beijing on Wednesday by knocking Judd Trump out of the £480,000 tournament.
Former world champion Ebdon, who won the title in both 2009 and 2012, edged into the last 16 with a 5-4 victory over world No6 Trump, 19 years his junior.
The 43-year-old Ebdon will be trying to reach the final stages of the World Championship at the Crucible for a 23rd consecutive time later in April.
And a good run in China will also leave world No24 Ebdon in good heart ahead of the final qualifier that awaits him at Ponds Forge in Sheffield in a fortnight’s time.
For now, Ebdon insisted that his decision to downscale his commitment to the European Tour events had paid dividends in one of his favourite tournaments.
Ebdon has reached just one ranking-event quarter-final in a disappointing campaign, but after winning the decider with a break of 86, he said: “The standard could have been higher, but I was very pleased with the result. I tried really hard, and it’s a very good win for me.
“I always looking forward to coming back to Beijing because I knew the conditions will suit me. It's important to be coming into form at this time of the year.
“It's been a very disappointing season for me, especially considering how hard I have worked. My preparation for this tournament has been good and I think this win is the result of all the hard work I've put in.
“I decided not to play in all of the European Tour events this season. Some players are happy to play in all of the tournaments but that's not physically possible for me and it's very tiring for me because I put so much effort into my matches in terms of concentration.
“But you just have to adapt and compete to the best of your ability. It's days like today that make me realise that it still worth me putting all the effort in. I proved today I'm still capable of beating the best players in the world.”
Meanehile Jimmy White, having already salvaged his tour place this week, continued his excellent run in the event with a 5-3 defeat of close friend Alfie Burden including breaks of 91, 60 and 110.
“I'm playing good stuff, I needed to win my last match to stay on the tour so I'm very pleased with my performance," said White. "I outplayed him in safety. My experience won me the match.
“I'd like to thank my fans in China. I've been coming to China for 30 years. I made a film with Stephen Chow 20 years ago [Legend of the Dragon], a very famous movie. We went to Hong Kong for the 20-year-anniversary.
“So I'm known in China for that movie when I was young as well as my snooker. I love China and I really appreciate my support. It's very nice to guarantee my place back on the tour in Beijing.”
World No1 Neil Robertson, who was suffering badly with a virus this week, scraped past Mark Williams 5-4 to join Ebdon and White in the last 16.