Mark Williams Queuing Up For Hat-Trick At The Crucible

By Simon Kendal-Williams 

Mark Williams begins his quest for a hat-trick of world snooker titles this weekend, alongside three fellow Welshmen also aiming for Crucible glory at the World Championship.

A resurgent Williams, champion in 2000 and 2003, was the only Welshman to qualify for the Sheffield showpiece by right, having risen to seventh in the world rankings. 

The 43-year-old from Cwm faces England’s Jimmy Robertson, conqueror of Neath’s Michael White in the final qualifying round. 

Former Masters and UK champion Matthew Stevens is also enjoying a welcome return to form. 

The Carmarthen cueman sealed his first visit to the World Championship in three years with a convincing win over Ken Doherty, and takes on world number nine Kyren Wilson. 

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Ryan Day has the chance to end his most successful season to date in style. 

Having taken 18 years to land his first ranking title, Day duly added a second, but was narrowly pipped to the all-important 16th-seed spot during the final event of the season. 

However, the Pontycymmer potter saw off 2002 world champion Peter Ebdon in final qualifying to set up a clash with rising star Anthony McGill. 

Completing the quartet is Neath’s Jamie Jones, who booked a welcome return to snooker’s spiritual home in devastating fashion.  

The 30-year-old upset the formbook with a stunning 10-0 whitewash of world number 19 Liang Wenbo. 

His reward is a tie with 2005 champion and world number 8 Shaun Murphy. 

Elsewhere, reigning champion Mark Selby faces world number 22 Joe Perry in the event’s curtain-raiser, while Ronnie O’Sullivan starts his bid for a sixth world crown against in-form Stephen Maguire. 

 The Betfred World Championship begins on Saturday at 10am, concluding on Monday May 7. 

 Full draw 

 Mark Selby v Joe Perry
Mark Allen v Liam Highfield
Kyren Wilson v Matthew Stevens
Shaun Murphy v Jamie Jones
John Higgins v Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
Stuart Bingham v Jack Lisowski
Luca Brecel v Ricky Walden
Judd Trump v Chris Wakelin
Ding Junhui v Xiao Guodong
Anthony McGill v Ryan Day
Marco Fu v Lyu Haotian
Barry Hawkins v Stuart Carrington
Mark Williams v Jimmy Robertson
Neil Robertson v Robert Milkins
Ali Carter v Graeme Dott
Ronnie O’Sullivan v Stephen Maguire 


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