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Friday, 14 February, 2003, 12:31 GMT
Comeback kings on course
Ronnie O'Sullivan in action earlier in the year
O'Sullivan kept cool under pressure to seal victory
Quarter-finals (Best of 17 frames)

Ronnie O'Sullivan 9-8 Peter Ebdon
Mark Williams 9-8 Stephen Hendry

Ronnie O'Sullivan and Mark Williams both produced stunning fightbacks to win their quarter-finals in the UK Championship in York.

The Rocket knocked out Peter Ebdon after being 6-1 and 8-4 down while Williams' performance left Stephen Hendry ruing missed chances as his 8-4 lead escaped him.

The victorious pair will now face each other in the semi-finals.

O'Sullivan looked to be on his way out when he fluffed a brown in the 12th frame to let Peter Ebdon go one frame from victory.

I sometimes seem to play better when I'm behind and have nothing to lose

Ronnie O'Sullivan
But he launched a courageous comeback, with breaks of 74, 70 and 73 helping him to level the game before an emphatic 80 sealed a stunning victory.

Ebdon had dominated the afternoon session, putting together breaks of 136, 112, 92, 82 and 75 on his way to establishing a 6-2 lead.

The Wellingborough-based player still looked on course for victory when the evening's first four frames were shared.

And Ebdon was disappointed that he had gone so close without gaining victory.

"All I needed was one clear-cut opportunity and I would have beaten him 9-5 or 9-6 because I outplayed him in the first session," he said.

The other quarter-final began very evenly, with world number one Williams tied at 4-4 with five-time champion Hendry at the break.

It was getting really tense towards the end

Mark Williams
The game seemed to slipping away from Williams in the evening session as the Scotsman surged into an 8-4 lead.

But the seven-times former world champion could not get over the finishing line and his Welsh opponent somehow levelled the match again.

In the decider, Williams showed his class to rattle in an impressive 83 and move through to the last four.

After his defeat, Hendry admitted he only had himself to blame for missing out on the semi-finals.

"I had plenty of chances to win but in the end I didn't take them," said the world number five. I didn't deserve to be in the semi-finals."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Phil Yates - BBC Sport
"A pair of routine wins were on the cards"
Ronnie O'Sullivan - BBC Sport
"That was theatre at its best"
Stephen Hendry - BBC Sport
"At the end of the day I didn't deserve to win"
BBC Sport Online presents the best coverage from the UK Championship in York

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