World Snooker Championship 2018: Ricky Walden back in the groove in Sheffield

Ricky Walden's best performance at The Crucible was reaching the semi-finals in 2013, surrendering a 12-8 lead to lose to Barry Hawkins
Ricky Walden's best effort at The Crucible was reaching the semis in 2013, giving up a 12-8 lead to lose to Barry Hawkins
2018 World Championship
Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 21 April - 7 May
Coverage: Watch live across BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Red Button, Connected TV, the BBC Sport website and mobile app.

World number 27 Ricky Walden says he has had to adjust his game to deal with the ongoing back problems that have plagued him for around 18 months.

The 35-year-old reached the second round of the World Championship for the fourth time in his career with a 10-6 win over 13th seed Luca Brecel.

Walden, a Crucible semi-finalist in 2013, said his back had been "really good in the past couple of months".

"I seem to have found a way to manage it," said the Chester-based player.

"I have been working hard on it to keep it moving so, fingers crossed, everything is going ok with that.

"I have changed my stance a little bit. I am bit wider. It's a bit of a technical change.

"It's very difficult. I tried a few different things and my game was all over the place.

"It's so difficult to find something when you've done it for so long.

"I just accept that I might miss the odd ball, but at least I can play and compete."

Walden looked smooth and in fine form as he hit breaks of 68, 105, 90, 74 and 76 to build a 6-3 overnight lead against the Belgian.

But the former world number six admitted that he then had to "scrap it out" to get over the line.

"I played well most of the game," added Walden, who has returned to his home city from north Wales and now lives in the suburb of Hoole.

"I lost my way in those final few frames, but overall I am very pleased. I just had to look at the scoreboard and stay calm.

"I played pretty decent so it gave me a chance to make a few errors. I made some errors and got away with it.

"I scrapped it out and sometimes you need to do that at the Crucible; it can be tough out there."

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