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Page last updated at 10:06 GMT, Wednesday, 15 April 2009 11:06 UK

Ebdon fires warning to O'Sullivan

By Saj Chowdhury

World Snooker Championship
Date: 18 April-4 May 2009 Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
Coverage: BBC Two, BBC Radio 5 Live, Red Button and live coverage, results and reports on the BBC Sport website

Peter Ebdon
Ebdon has reached three World Championship finals

Peter Ebdon has warned Ronnie O'Sullivan that the World Snooker Championship is not a two-horse race.

O'Sullivan told BBC Sport last week that either he or John Higgins would win the Crucible title if they both find their top form.

"Ronnie rightly sees himself as one of the favourites," 2002 world champion Ebdon said.

"But he knows that I'm a player who believes I can beat him. I've done it before on many important occasions."

The 38-year-old famously beat the current world number one 13-11 in the 2005 quarter-finals, a match remembered for Ebdon's slow play, and they could meet at the same stage this year.

O'Sullivan fears Higgins the most

This season has brought mixed fortunes for Ebdon and his place in the top 16 was under serious threat until his recent triumph at the China Open.

"It was my biggest tournament win for a couple of years," said Ebdon, who has previously stated that he places more significance on snooker's major events.

"For the first time in 15 years my top 16 ranking was in jeopardy. If I didn't get my act together then I could have dropped out of the elite.

"I went into the Beijing competition provisionally 17th and now I'm provisional 12th. A top-16 place isn't guaranteed for next season, but I'm a little bit more relaxed going into the Worlds."

Ebdon added that he has never considered himself anything but a member of snooker's elite.

606: DEBATE

"I've always thought of myself as a top eight or 16 player. I also think that I can be a multiple world champion. But it's up to me to prove that."

The Kettering-born player, who was also a Crucible runner-up in 1996 and 2006, faces 1995 finalist Nigel Bond in the first round.

"I've played Nigel in Sheffield a couple of years back and I beat him 10-7, but he deserved the win," said Ebdon.

"He gave me a real tough match and I expect the same. He's got a lot of experience and has been to the final before."



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see also
Higgins or me to win - O'Sullivan
10 Apr 09 |  Snooker
Ebdon outlasts Higgins in final
05 Apr 09 |  Snooker
Champion O'Sullivan sunk by Ebdon
27 Apr 05 |  Snooker


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