Mark Williams is unhappy at his treatment from snooker chiefs. Pic: Getty Images.

Beaten Mark Williams Admits: I Need To Start Practising

Mark Williams has confessed he has work ahead of him if he is to avoid an embarrassing defence of his snooker world title.

Wales’ world champion of the green baize crashed out of the Masters tournament on Tuesday night and admitted he had hardly practised prior to the event.

Neil Robertson produced a run of five straight frames to knock Williams out of the London event with a 6-3 first-round win at Alexandra Palace.

“I played poor all the way through, really,” said Williams, who will return to the Crucible in Sheffield later this year to defend his world title.

“I was expecting to play like that, to be honest, because I’ve hardly touched my cue.

“I’ll have to start practising, obviously, with the World Championship coming up. It’s the only tournament I’m looking forward to.

“I’ll have to put a bit of work in for that otherwise I’ll play like I did today and go out in the first round… (and) it’ll be my own fault.”

Williams, the current world number two and twice Masters winner, had opened up a 3-1 lead, producing a break of 74 to take the third frame.

However, Australian Robertson responded, following up a clearance of 59 to snatch the fifth frame with a century break of 102 and then 69 to edge ahead 4-3.

A 53 break from Williams was not enough to claim the eighth frame, with a safety error on the pink punished before Robertson produced another unanswered run of 88 to seal his place in the quarter-finals.

Robertson, who failed to qualify for last year’s tournament, said: “I had to pick up the pace, it was as simple as that.

“I had to force myself to play the way I do in practice in terms of the tempo. That’s what I did and I got going and felt absolutely fantastic.

“To beat the world champion today was a huge step in the right direction.”

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