Mark Williams: I was simply shocking

MARK Williams was disgusted with one of the worst displays of his professional career as he exited the UK Snooker Championship in the third round.

The Cwm potter, who won the UK Championship title 11 years ago, lost 6-5 to Ricky Walden at the Barbican Centre in York as the last 16 proved a step too far.

The former world number one, who has reached the Masters quarter-finals in each of the last two years, admitted he was struggling to comprehend what was happening during the match.

And the 38-year-old revealed he can see a worrying downward trend in his performances over the last couple of seasons.

"It was probably some of the worst stuff I have played in 20 years as a professional," said Williams. "I was just shocking all the way through really.

"I've had some shockers but that was certainly up there with the best of them. It was shocking. I was 3-1 up – I don't know how I was 3-1 up – and then I went 5-3 down.

"With the balls I was missing I was even laughing to myself in the chair thinking 'what is going on here?'

"I don't know if I had one of those days – I seem to be getting them days quite regularly. I'm not getting any better.

"I was probably 20 points off my game last season and probably 30 now so each year I'm getting worse by ten points I think."

Williams began the match on top picking up the opening two frames but Walden won the next to ensure the Welshman did not run away with it.

He did go 3-1 up in York but that was when Walden began playing the best snooker of the match, winning four straight frames.

Williams clawed it back to 5-5 and went into the decider with renewed confidence but Walden stepped it up and hit a break of 137 – one of the biggest of the tournament so far.

"I dragged it back to 5-5 – I had an all right break to go 5-5 – but I didn't get a shot in the last," he added.

"He made a good break of 130-odd. I went for a red, sort of a shot to nothing, but it was too thin and left an easy starter.

"He has still got to make the break after I won two frames on the spin – it was his first chance for a while. So it was a good break."

British Eurosport is the Home of Snooker, showing 19 tournaments this season including the World Championship, UK Championship, the Masters and all ranking events, available on Sky, Virgin Media & BT or online/on mobile via eurosportplayer.co.uk

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