Mark Williams aiming to end wait for Welsh winner

South Wales Argus: WHITEWASH: Gwent's Mark Williams on his way to a 4-0 win over Tian Pengfei WHITEWASH: Gwent's Mark Williams on his way to a 4-0 win over Tian Pengfei

GWENT ace Mark Williams is aiming to end the 15-year wait for a home winner of the Bet Victor Welsh Open after booking his place in the last 32.

The Cwm potter, who was crowned Welsh Open champion in 1996 and 1999 before going on to claim two World Championships, looks to be running into form at the right time at the Newport Centre.

After edging through round one with a 4-3 win over Michael Wasley on Saturday the 38-year-old brushed aside Tian Pengfei 4-0 in round two.

Williams took the opening frame with a run of 63. Tian should have levelled the scores only to miss the brown, which let Williams in to double his lead.

But the Cwm man produced brilliance thereafter and made it 4-0 with runs of 77 and 108.

“I am happy with the win and I finished off the match well, I was lucky to be 2-0 up at the start and could easily have been 2-0 down,” he said.

“The way I finished the match, if I can keep playing like that then I will be a dangerous opponent to anyone but I can't seem to do it at the minute.

“Towards the end I made breaks which I hadn't been doing, I know my form is there and it popped up a bit there so I am hoping it pops up again in the next round.

“It’s been 15 years since a Welshman won this which is far too long and it is frightening,” added Williams, who now plays Australian star Neil Robertson.

“We should be having a lot better runs with the Welsh players we have, and hopefully this is the year when we can do that.

“I play Neil Robertson next and, apart from Ronnie, he is probably the best player in the world now but I know if I play alright then I can beat anybody.”

Williams is one of four remaining home favourites in the tournament, which runs until Sunday, after fellow Welshmen Ryan Day and Jamie Jones were beaten in round two.

Glasgow's Anthony McGill overcame Day 4-1 with breaks of 63, 90, 65 and 84 and Jones lost out 4-3 to Graeme Dott.

All four Welshmen are in action on Wednesday with Williams v Robertson at 1pm, Dominic Dale taking on Mark Selby at 10.30am, Matthew Stevens facing Joe Perry at 1pm and Blackwood’s Andrew Pagett against reigning champion Stephen Maguire at 7pm.

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