Peter Ebdon held off a thrilling comeback from Stephen Maguire to win the China Open final 10-9.
A slow-paced and one-sided first session saw the players hauled off fully three frames early despite Ebdon knocking in two centuries as he opened up a 5-1 lead.
The players traded blows early in a more watchable afternoon session but Maguire closed to 8-8 and took the match to a decider, only for Ebdon to finally prevail after over eight hours’ play.
Ebdon, the 2002 world champion who came all the way from the qualifying tournament and ended the hopes of home favourite, Sheffield based Ding Junhui in the semi-final, compiled breaks of 107 to go 2-1 up and then 124 in the final frame of the first session to leave Maguire up against it.
The Scot, who looked impressive in beating Stephen Lee 6-2 in the last four, got back on level terms after losing the opening frame, but from there it was all Ebdon.
He took the third frame in style and moved two in front with the help of a run of 64.
Ebdon strengthened his grip in the final by winning a scrappy, error-strewn fifth frame before finishing the session in style.
The 41-year-old produced a total clearance to ensure he would take a four-frame advantage into the evening session.
Maguire pulled a frame back after the resumption with an 84 but Ebdon moved four clear again with a well constructed half-century in the next. Maguire took a painstaking ninth frame and then wrapped up the 10th in unusually short order with a fluent 98, narrowly missing the black for a century with a tournament-high 140 a possibility.
Ebdon returned from the mid-session interval with his third century of the match, a 103 to go 7-4 up, but Maguire took the next with a 65.
A 65 clearance took Ebdon within two frames of victory but Maguire responded with 70 and took the next to narrow the gap to 8-7. A 97 break then levelled matters for the first time since frame two and set up a best-of-three finale.
Ebdon moved within a frame of victory with another 103 but Maguire levelled, taking the match to a deciding frame.
Both players failed to score heavily with early opportunities, but Ebdon cleared the last three reds and the difficult yellow to get over the line.
n Ding looked set to delight his legion of fans in Beijing when he led by two frames at the mid-session interval of the semi-final but Ebdon reeled off the next five in succession.