Mark Williams stuns world number one Neil Robertson
GWENT star Mark Williams rolled back the years as he held his nerve to beat world number one Neil Robertson 4-3 at the Newport Centre.
The Cwm potter, twice a world champion, won through to the last 16 of the Bet Victor Welsh Open to cheers from the 500-strong home crowd who had earlier seen fellow Welshmen Dominic Dale and Matthew Stevens knocked out.
Williams is the only Welsh player to win this tournament and he remains on course to take the title for the first time since 1999.
“It was an excellent win for me, probably one of the best I’ve had for a long time,” said the 38-year-old.
“He’s world number one and he looked like a Rolls Royce when he got in amongst the balls and I looked like and Austin Metro but I’m just happy with the way I held myself together.
“I potted an excellent red in that last frame and after that they were all there but I was under a lot of pressure and managed to pull off a good clearance.
“I’m not getting carried away,” he added. “I’m in the last 16 and still going. I beat the best player in the world so fingers crossed I can keep going.”
Williams will be in action against Marco Fu on Thursday night at 7pm but Stevens and Dale are both out of their home tournament.
Carmarthen’s Stevens led 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 against Joe Perry but was edged out 4-3 in a final frame decider.
“It wasn’t a bad match. Neither of us missed much but I missed a few in that last frame,” he said.
“My little boy Freddie is here watching me. He’s probably crying somewhere now. It is disappointing. You try that extra bit hard for the fans and your friends coming down to watch.
“But it’s tough. Best of seven is anyone’s match and it’s just one of those things.”
Dale, who has been suffering from flu-like symptoms, was beaten 4-0 by Mark Selby.
“I’ve been ill the last day or so. I’ve got a headache and I ache a bit but it wasn’t too bad,” said the BBC Wales pundit.
“It was bad yesterday (Tuesday) in the TV studio and I did think I might faint on live TV at one point.
“I thought I’d have to pull out of the match but I woke up feeling better and thankfully I was able to play without any issues.
“It was just that the run of balls went against me and it was one of those disastrous matches so it’s disappointing.”
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