Ricky Walden scraped through to the quarter-finals of the Dafabet Masters, after coming from behind to edge out Barry Hawkins 6-5 at the Alexandra Palace.
They call him ‘Stamina man’ and he lived up to his nickname, as he recovered from 3-0 and 5-2 down to stun the world finalist. He will now play Ronnie O’Sullivan in the last eight on Friday.
It was a repeat of the epic World Championship semi-final last year, when Walden let a 12-8 lead slip before losing 17-14.
The Hawk looked invincible at the beginning, and breaks of 85, 57 and 132 gave him a commanding 3-0 advantage.
Walden reduced the deficit with a run of 50 before the mid-session interval, but Hawkins picked up from where he left off – making it 4-1 with a 112 for his second century of the match.
The world number 11 responded with a ton of his own, but the world number six restored his three-frame lead with a run of 59 along the way.
A 73 from Walden kept the match alive before he was handed the ninth frame on a plate, when Hawkins left a re-spotted black over the corner pocket.
A scrappy tenth frame also went his way after his opponent gave away a total of 48 points in fouls.
This forced a final-frame decider which went the way of the man from Chester, to seal his place in the quarter-finals.
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