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SIMON WHITLOCK secured a spot in the quarter-finals of the BetVictor World Matchplay with an 11-7 over former champion James Wade at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens on Wednesday.

The Australian star advanced to the last eight for the first time since 2014 – when he reached the semi-finals – following up his first round win against Richard North with another seemingly comfortable success.

“I feel really relaxed on the Winter Gardens stage this year, I’m enjoying playing up there,”said Whitlock.

“I started well and then it became a scrap, I felt like I should’ve been further ahead at some points but I got the win and that’s all that matters.

“The last time I got to the semis here was in 2014 and I actually feel like I’m playing better now than I was then.”