Ronnie O'Sullivan said yesterday he did not care whether he wins this year's World Championship. The triple world champion could barely raise a smile despite beating Peter Ebdon 10-4.
"Whatever happens now is a bonus for me," said O'Sullivan. "If I win [my next match], then great, but if I don't it's not the be-all-and-end-all. I'll just enjoy this one. I'm pleased to be in the tournament, I've won a nice match, but I'm not getting carried away."
Having returned with a 7-2 lead, O'Sullivan made breaks of 80, 68 and 54 to set up a last-16 meeting with Mark Williams or the Chinese qualifier Liu Chuang.
Ebdon broke down in tears in his post-match press conference. "After my dad [Michael] passed away [last year] I didn't know that I would want to play again," said Ebdon. "I miss him so much."
Last year's beaten finalist, Judd Trump, overcame sickness to establish a 5-4 lead over Welshman Dominic Dale. Graeme Dott, the 2006 world champion, was 8-1 behind to Joe Perry and Ding Junhui, a former Masters and UK champion, trailed Ryan Day 5-4.