30th of April 2013 Author: Glo Wood
Defending world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan breezed past Ali Carter 13-8 to reach the quarter-finals of the World Championship in Sheffield. O'Sullivan took a 5-3 lead after the first session, but Carter played very well in the next session to stay in touch at 7-9. But the final session was all about Ronnie O'Sullivan, who bagged a century break and dropped just one of the five frames played on the evening. The result means we will have an all-Essex last-eight clash against Stuart Bingham.
O'Sullivan, aiming to win his fifth Crucible title, has returned to snooker at the start of the tournament after a self-imposed 11-month break from the sport. O'Sullivan said: "I am pleased to get through. Even last year, quite a few times I felt it was slipping away but you have to stick in there and take each pot at a time. You have to realise it is not a sprint but a marathon. I knew this would be a proper test against Ali. It is not going to get any easier and you just have to keep plodding along."
Two-time world runner-up Carter, who threatened to retire in 2011, remains without a win in 13 matches against O'Sullivan. Seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry described that losing streak as "tough" to get over. "Ronnie plays like this every time I have played against him - no wonder I haven't beaten him," said Carter. "I was there trying to win, not avoid defeat. It was a tough day today and he did not do anything wrong. Ronnie will go on to win it if his head doesn't fall off."
The bookmakers seem to agree with Ali Carter, Ronnie O'Sullivan is now by far the top favourite to win the event. Here are the outright odds for the top five contenders at Bet365:
Ronnie O'Sullivan - 15/8
Judd Trump - 3/1
Ding Junhui - 10/3
Shaun Murphy - 10/1
Ricky Walden - 14/1
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