The world No 3 Ebdon, beaten in four successive matches at the end of 1996, advanced to the semi-finals of the Liverpool Victoria Charity Challenge by beating Ken Doherty 5-2. It was another encouraging show from the Londoner, who boosted his flagging confidence last weekend by defeating John Parrott and Doherty in the Dr Martens European League.
"I don't want to make a habit of losing early on but it does have its advantages," Ebdon said. "Those defeats have given me a new lease of life in terms of dedication and commitment. I suppose it was the short, sharp shock treatment but they certainly made me extremely annoyed. Perhaps it's unfair to say I was getting complacent but I now realise I wasn't working as hard as I should have."
Ebdon will face Parrott or the defending champion, Ronnie O'Sullivan, in today's semi-finals.
Alan McManus edged out fellow Scot John Higgins to book his place in the last four. McManus, previously beaten on six successive occasions by his World Cup-winning team-mate, avoided a seventh defeat as he turned a 4-2 deficit into a 5-4 victory after Higgins stalled on the brink of victory.
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