SHEFFIELD: Defending champion Peter Ebdon had a comfortable passage into the second round of the snooker world championship with a 10-3 victory over Gerard Greene at the Crucible Theatre on Saturday.
Resuming with a 6-3 lead after the opening session, Ebdon won the first four frames of the evening to secure victory.
“It’s always nice to get the first match out of the way,” he said. “It’s a fantastic feeling to be here as defending world champion, I really enjoyed it.”
Ebdon had some stronger contact lenses fitted recently, which he believes have helped his game.
“They have made a massive difference,” he said. “Without the lenses I’d probably be out of the top 16.”
Ebdon, who beat Stephen Hendry 18-17 in last year’s final, is striving to become the only first-time world champion to retain the title.
“If I’m mentally strong I really believe I can do it,” he added.
In other matches, seven-times champion Hendry knocked in two century breaks on his way to posting a 6-3 lead over Gary Wilkinson, while Australia’s Quinten Hann edged into a 5-4 lead over 1991 champion John Parrott.
Hann was 5-1 up, but Parrott claimed the last three frames of the session to cut the world No.14’s advantage to one.
Scottish qualifier Drew Henry leads world No.11 Mark King 6-3 overnight and needs four more frames to set up a possible second-round meeting with Hendry.
Another qualifier, Sean Storey, is 6-3 ahead in his best of 19 frames first round match against Joe Perry. – Reuters