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Ding Boosts Top 16 Hopes

Ding junhui

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Ding Junhui took a step closer towards keeping his top 16 ranking as he thrashed Peter Ebdon 4-0 to reach the quarter-finals of the Ladbrokes World Grand Prix.

Chinese ace Ding has struggled for results this season and currently lies 19th on the projected list, with only the top 16 after the China Open in April to qualify automatically for the World Championship. All players outside that bracket will need to win three qualifying matches to make it toe the Crucible.

Ding, winner of 11 ranking events, looked back in form in a fine display against Ebdon, compiling breaks of 78, 63 and 89.

“I started the match with confidence and stayed focused,” said Ding after reaching his 35th career ranking quarter-final. “I was cueing well in general. I haven’t played like this for quite some time. I’m happy to be back in my normal rhythm.

“Practice only helps me maintain a certain level so my attitude is of greater importance. There will always be different situations in matches but sometimes you have to play your own game, no matter what kind of game your opponent plays.

“I don’t really care about my position on the world ranking list. I know that there’s a lot of points coming off this season because I had a great season two years ago. It will always happen unless I play like that every year.”

Ding now faces an all-Asian clash with Thailand’s Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, who came from 2-0 down to beat Mark Allen 4-2. Un-Nooh, who won the Six Red World Championship and reached two ranking semi-finals in 2015, enjoyed top breaks of 69 and 75.