Rocket soars, Murphy tumbles
O'Sullivan in command after first session with Ebdon
Last Updated: 23/04/12 7:40pm
Ronnie O'Sullivan took control of his first round match against Peter Ebdon at the Betfred.com World Championship by moving 7-2 in front.
Seven years ago the pair clashed in the quarter-finals with Ebdon coming from 8-2 down to claim an impressive 13-11 success in Sheffield.
But Ebdon was completely outplayed on Monday despite entering the match as the in-form player having won the China Open at the start of April.
The drama in the session came in the opening frame. Ebdon took 40 seconds deliberating over his first shot, offering a reminder of his pedestrian play in their 2005 clash.
The frame could have gone either way, but O'Sullivan had a clear opening when he potted pink and could have added the black, although it was awkward.
Playing it left-handed, O'Sullivan missed it, and Ebdon potted it to force a 64-64 tie, meaning it went down to a re-spotted black.
Ebdon almost missed the ball entirely. O'Sullivan missed what was a gift of a chance. Eventually O'Sullivan sank the black, but Ebdon soon levelled the match at one apiece.
It was Ebdon's last success until the final frame of the session, with O'Sullivan at times ruthless, at other times doing just enough to surge comfortably 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. In 2005 it took Ebdon as long to make a run of 12.
Ebdon gave himself a glimmer of hope with a break of 90, but will return on Tuesday afternoon needing a comeback on a familiar scale to the one he produced against the Rocket seven years ago.
Shaun Murphy became the biggest casualty yet as qualifier Jamie Jones scored a big victory on his debut.
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."