Mark Williams Vows World Title Challenge After Rolling Back The Years To Beat Ronnie O’Sullivan

Mark Williams. Pic: Getty Images

Mark Williams Vows World Title Challenge After Rolling Back The Years To Beat Ronnie O’Sullivan


By Gareth James

Mark Williams believes he has a genuine chance of becoming world snooker champion for a fourth time after enjoying one of the best wins of his long career.

Williams struggled to hold back the tears after winning a thrilling showdown against Ronnie O’Sullivan at the Tour Championship in Manchester.

The Welsh legend staged a remarkable comeback, securing seven consecutive frames en route to a commanding 10-5 triumph, ending O’Sullivan’s unbeaten streak in finals over the past five years.

Despite O’Sullivan’s initial lead of 5-3, where he showcased his brilliance with four centuries, Williams proved his resilience.

It ranks as one of Williams’ most significant triumphs as he has beaten the three best players in the world in Manchester – Judd Trump was dismissed 10-4 in the quarter-finals, Mark Allen 10-5 in the semis, and then all-time greatest O’Sullivan in the final.

At the age of 49, Williams played the best snooker he has produced since his third Crucible crown in 2018.

Williams gave an impeccable performance in the evening session, capitalizing on O’Sullivan’s struggles to regain his form. The three-time World Champion orchestrated breaks of 104, 99, and 112, effectively shifting the momentum in his favour.

In an emotional post-match interview, Williams appeared overwhelmed by his victory.

“Not bad,” Williams said on ITV4. “I played well all day. I was 3-1 up, 5-3 down, he played unbelievably well and sometimes you’ve got to hold your hands up, but tonight I took it to him and played really well.

“It’s not bad for a part-timer. What can I say? I never thought I’d be winning tournaments at 49, so who knows? The World Championships are around the corner. He’s the man to beat, but you never know. I’ll try my best.”

Beaten finalist O’Sullivan had plenty of praise for Williams and identified him as the most consistent player on the circuit. The snooker superstar even suggested his opponent was playing better than ever.

O’Sullivan said: “I think he’s been the best player, the most consistent player, over the last five years. He rarely plays a poor match and the way he’s played this week and tonight, he’s an amazing player. He’s so talented and I think he’s better now than he’s ever been.

“I tried to give it everything. I did it this afternoon to stay in the match but he’s so consistent, so strong, if you don’t consistently play top-level snooker he’ll eat you alive.”


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