Peter Ebdon has urged Ronnie O'Sullivan to reconsider taking a break after dumping the world champion out at the quarter-final stage. Ebdon ended O'Sullivan's title defence after coming back from 8-2 down to defeat a clearly-distracted 'Rocket' 13-11 to advance to the last four in Sheffield.
The defeat prompted O'Sullivan to announce he was planning a year away from the green baize, but Ebdon said: "I hope he doesn't because it would be a shame for the game.
"I love playing Ronnie. He's inspirational. I don't enjoy watching snooker but I'd go anywhere to watch Ronnie O'Sullivan. He's a genius."
Ebdon disrupted O'Sullivan's characteristic lightning play round the table, frustrating his opponent with a three-minute pondering of one shot and taking five minutes for a break of 12 which led O'Sullivan to playfully ask a member of the audience for the time.
But to his credit, O'Sullivan refused to condemn his opponent's tactics, and Ebdon was equally gracious in triumph: "I don't think we can really put ourselves in Ronnie's shoes because he must have to work tremendously hard to maintain his fitness and also his level of form."