Stephen Maguire books World Championship quarter-final spot after holding off Zhao Xintong comeback

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Stephen Maguire ended up using a borrowed cue for his match against China's Zhao Xintong on Saturday, but it had no impact on his play as the 41-year-old Scot reached the final eight. Maguire started brightly in Sheffield and boasted a 11-5 lead heading into the final session of the match. Just two frames away from victory, it only seemed a matter of time until Maguire wrapped the match up. But Xintong, who entered the tournament as the seventh-seed, mounted a remarkable comeback and won four of the next five sets to pile the pressure on Maguire. At 12-9, Maguire was able to regain his composure though, and a break of 59 ended a dramatic match and saw him progress to the quarter-finals.

The world No.40 has twice been to the semi-finals before, and has now been to the quarter-finals of the World Championship seven times. The win guarantees Maguire a £50,000 prize for his progression in the tournament. After his victory, Maguire joked that he'll need to buy his friend's cue after borrowing it for the match. "When I played Shaun I was rubbish and Shaun was even worse, so I went back up to Glasgow and made my mind up that I wasn't coming back with that cue because I felt like I had no chance. "I borrowed my mate's cue and had a couple of days of practice with it and liked it, and it has seemed to pay off. I'll ask my mate how much he wants for it - hopefully not a lot."

As for Zhao, the promising 25-year-old insisted he'll return an improved player next year. "I have confidence that one day I will win this tournament." "I think I can learn from this experience and next year I will be better.

The article Stephen Maguire books World Championship quarter-final spot after holding off Zhao Xintong comeback appeared first on Planetsport.com.

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