Grace marches into UK quarter-finals

DAVID Grace believes he proved he is a man for the big stage as he continued his incredible run at the UK Snooker Championship by reaching the quarter-finals on Wednesday.

David Grace during his match with Peter Ebdon.
David Grace during his match with Peter Ebdon.

The Leeds potter has become something of a Cinderella Man in York this week – making a mockery of his world ranking of 81 to sweep aside all before him at the Barbican Centre.

And that streak continued in the last 16 as Grace capitalised on his chances by making five half-centuries to down 2002 world champion Peter Ebdon 6-2.

By his own admission, the 30-year-old enjoyed the run of the balls during what was once again the biggest match of his career but insists that shouldn’t detract from his efficient display.

“It’s my biggest win since the last 32 other day – it’s mad really because every game is the biggest match, so I’m just taking it one at a time,” said Grace.

“I’ve been around a long time and done nothing in the game, so I was due a run in something.

“It’s never easy against Peter because he’s as tough as they come. I was a bit lucky the first couple of frames when I got flukes and made a break off them.

“That kind of thing happens when you’re having a good week but obviously I had to take advantage of it, which I did. I twitched a couple but I managed to get them in the end.

“I’m really pleased to take my chances – if you look back at the breaks, I did score well. It wasn’t completely clinical and I couldn’t buy a long pot all day but when I got chances in the balls I did alright.”

By reaching the quarter-final, Grace has guaranteed himself at least £20,000 – by far the biggest payday of his career.

With a number of top seeds in his section of the draw having crashed out, the Leeds man will face either world No.24 Martin Gould or world No.58 Joe Swail in the last eight but he’s not getting too far ahead of himself.

“Winning each match gives me a taste for more – I’m not finished here yet. I’m not buying into the draw opening up though because everyone is a phenomenal player,” added Grace.

“I’ve played phenomenal players every single round – the guys outside the top 16 are just as good on their day and are still in the tournament for a reason.”

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