China's Ding falls short in snooker history bid
Ding Junhui of China plays a shot at The Crucible in Sheffield, northern England on April 30, 2013
Ding, 26, had won the Shanghai Masters, the Indian Open and the International Championship, and another title would have given him the longest sequence of rankings successes since Stephen Hendry won five in a row in 1990.
However, after a run of 22 successive victories, he went down 6-4 to Walden in a tense best-of-11-frames match in the northern English city of York.
The encounter looked destined for a deciding frame after Ding was presented with a straightforward pink in the 10th frame, but he missed and Walden seized his chance to claim a berth in the quarter-finals.
On the fateful missed pink, Ding explained: "My cue action didn't work; the cue turned in my hand.
"The match was not good today. It's difficult to play Ricky, he gave very few chances. Every frame he scored heavily and he didn't leave any long ones. It was good safety.
"Anybody can win. Maybe the next games he's going to play better and better, so you don't know who's going to win. I wish best wishes for him."
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