Snooker: O'Sullivan starts to deliver in 'deal-breaker'

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Ronnie O'Sullivan has fallen in and out of love with snooker more times than you would care to count. But for now, at least, the "Rocket" admits he is still in love with the game that made him a household name.

The only problem is that yesterday's stylish 10-2 first round victory over Dominic Dale at this year's World Championship in Sheffield was O'Sullivan's first ranking win for nearly seven months.

Last week, snooker's chief crowd-puller withdrew his entry to this tournament, only to change his mind and compete."I did withdraw, but someone phoned me up last Monday, I'd had the weekend to think about it and I changed my mind," he revealed. "But this tournament is the last throw of the dice. If I can't play great but still feel comfortable out there, well that's the deal-breaker for me. I'm not here to make an impact, I've got nothing to prove to anybody."

O'Sullivan added: "I've still got a mountain to climb because I'm quite a way down the rankings, but I'm in a good frame of mind. I enjoyed that match as much as any I've enjoyed since my first appearance here."

Qualifer Stuart Bingham caused an upset when he sent 2002 champion Peter Ebdon out 10-8. Twice runner-up Matthew Stevens returns today 5-4 ahead of Northern Ireland's Mark Allen after the opening session.