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O'Sullivan takes control against Ebdon
Ronnie O'Sullivan turned the most keenly-anticipated first-round match at the Betfred.com World Championship into a procession as he surged 7-2 ahead of Peter Ebdon.
The drama in the session came in the opening frame. Ebdon took 40 seconds deliberating over his first shot, offering a reminder of how pedestrian his play was in their 2005 clash when he came from 8-2 behind to defeat O'Sullivan 13-11 in the quarter-finals. The frame went down to a re-spotted black which O'Sullivan eventually sank.
Ebdon levelled but it was his last success until the final frame, with O'Sullivan at times ruthless, at other times doing enough to surge clear of an opponent who was struggling to live up to his own pre-match expectations. There was a century from O'Sullivan in barely five minutes in frame three. Ebdon will return on Tuesday needing a comeback on a familiar scale.
Shaun Murphy became the biggest casualty yet as qualifier Jamie Jones scored a big victory for Wales on his debut, while fellow countryman and two-time finalist Matthew Stevens finished off Hong Kong's Marco Fu, converting an 8-1 lead from the morning session to a 10-3 victory.
Jones, a 24-year-old from near Neath, raised eyebrows with a 10-2 victory over world number 15 Ricky Walden in the final qualifying round, and he also beat reigning Crucible champion John Higgins at the PTC Finals in Galway last month.
He said the wins would give him momentum for going to the Crucible and that was clearly the case as he bounced out 2005 champion Murphy, winning 10-8 to set up a second-round clash with Andrew Higginson or Stephen Lee.
Murphy said: "It's certainly not how I saw the tournament going.
"I thought the match was really high quality. I really enjoyed it, which sounds funny considering I got beaten. I thought Jamie held himself together really well and he didn't play like a debutant. I've certainly played a lot worse myself and won before."
Jones said: "I've never felt any pressure like it in my life. I've never known an occasion like it. For my Crucible debut I think I played pretty well. That's definitely not my best though. I can play better than that.
"Everyone in the village where I live has been watching on TV and my phone hasn't stopped going since I left the table. It'll be like a circus at home."