Mark Williams has questioned his future in the sport. Pic: Huw Evans Agency.

Mark Williams Says He’s A Shadow Of The Player He Used To Be

Former world champion Mark Williams has launched another devastating self-appraisal after crashing out of the Coral Welsh Open.

Williams lost 4-3 in the first round to Elliot Slessor before branding himself “a shadow” of the player he used to be at his peak and questioning his future in the sport.

The match went to a deciding frame after Williams, 41, had recovered from 3-1 down, but Slessor won the decider comfortably and Williams said: “I was so bad it was frightening. How I’m in the top 16 I’ll never know.

“I’m a shadow of the player I used to be and that’s why I put in performances like that.

“Rubbish. That’s how I’d sum it up, rubbish. There was only one frame I played any good in.

“You always try your best, perhaps sometimes you try too hard. It could be one of the reasons I play like that, I might be trying a little bit too hard.

“When you put performances in like that, you think should you be playing this game?”

It was only the second time in Williams’ career that he has lost his first match at the Welsh Open – the other occasion was in 2013 when Robert Milkins beat him 4-1.

But, while Williams went out, fifteen-year-old schoolboy Jackson Page has reached the second round.

The wildcard entry trailed Jason Weston 3-1, but potted a re-spotted black to knock out the world number 123.

The Ebbw Vale born potter is studying for his GCSEs and is playing in his first professional tournament.

“I was a wildcard, so everyone was telling me just to enjoy it, for experience. But I knew I could still do well and hopefully win a few games and that’s what I did first game.

“I’m really happy with that.”

Page has won £2,500 for reaching the second round and would earn another £1,000 if he progresses to the third round. Another win to reach the last 16 would earn him £6,000.

Stuart Bingham, the 2015 world champion, beat Welshman Matthew Stevens 4-2, Wales’ Dominic Dale overcame Zhang Anda 4-0 and Shaun Murphy defeated Jamie Curtis-Barrett 4-0

 

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