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Sport in brief: Rocket hits out after triumph

Ronnie O'Sullivan was thoroughly underwhelmed with his performance after beating Peter Ebdon 6-3 in their Pokerstars.com Masters quarter-final at Wembley Arena yesterday.

There appeared little to be unhappy with early on as he raced into a 4-0 lead in just over an hour, but O'Sullivan was especially unhappy with how he finished the contest.

"Peter could have won the game quite easily," he said. "Most of the time I'm missing a lot of shots and it was difficult to find confidence out there. The long game I've got at the moment is just laughable."

O'Sullivan got off to a flying start as breaks of 92, 53 and 74 in the opening three frames helped him seize control.

Ebdon stopped the rot as a fluked final red helped him take the fifth frame and he reduced the deficit to two by edging a tight sixth.

O'Sullivan moved to within one frame of victory only to be pegged back again by Ebdon before a 106 got him over the line.

In last night's other game, Mark Williams overcame another former world champion in Shaun Murphy with an impressive 6-4 victory.


The Court of Arbitration for Sport will not extend cyclist Alejandro Valverde's doping suspension worldwide while he appeals his two-year ban from competing in Italy.

The court concluded a three-day hearing yesterday on Valverde's appeal of the penalty handed down by the Italian Olympic Committee.

The CAS said in a preliminary ruling that the request was outside the scope of the Spaniard's ongoing appeal. CAS said it was looking only at Valverde's eligibility in Italy.


IRELAND'S Barry King crashed out in the first round of the ITF Futures event against Simon Cauvard on an indoor carpet surface in Schwieberdingen, near Stuttgart, yesterday.

King (24) had battled back to one set all, but the 23-year-old French player edged the deciding tie-break to prevail on a 6-4 5-7 7-6 (8/6) scoreline.

On the ITF U-18 Circuit, Ireland's Stephen Martin was another early casualty, losing 6-3 3-6 0-6 to Italy's Davide Poggi in Bergheim, Austria.

Meanwhile, Serena Williams survived a scare from France's Aravane Rezai yesterday before sealing her spot in the Sydney International final against Russian Elena Dementieva.

Williams was teetering on the brink of defeat after losing the first set and trailing 5-2 in the second, but raised her game to win 3-6 7-5 6-4.

Irish Independent