MARK Williams has started the new snooker season like he finished the last, and after winning a 22nd ranking title he believes his all-round game “is as good, if not better, than it ever has been”.

The Cwm cueman, a professional since 1992, came from 9-5 down to beat Dave Gilbert 10-9 in the final of the World Open in China on Sunday.

Williams, 43, the reigning world champion, has moved to second in the global rankings and winning £150,000 in the Far East took his earnings for the past year to more than £1million.

Tamworth’s Gilbert, 37, is up to 20th in the world but couldn’t quite manage to claim his maiden ranking title.

“At 9-5 down I was almost out,” Williams, who also came from behind to defeat Jack Lisowski and Noppon Saengkham in the last eight and semi-finals respectively, told World Snooker.

“To win three matches I have looked like losing is unbelievable. I never give up or let my head drop, no matter what the score is.

“I never let my opponent see that I’m losing heart, and then sometimes it does turn around. Whatever is going on, you have to stick in there.

“I feel for David, he didn’t have that many clear-cut chances. I played really well from 9-5 and put him under pressure. I won it more than he lost it.”

He added: “It’s a good shout to say my all-round game is as good, if not better, than it ever has been.

“Perhaps my long potting is not as good as it used to be, but my all-round game is probably better now and the results are showing that at the moment.

“When I get home I’ll be straight to the caravan park, then I have to decide whether to have a drink to celebrate the World Championship win or a drink to celebrate this one.

“Or I might just double up and do both.”

Gilbert was seemingly on course for victory in only his second ranking final, charging into a four-frame lead with five left to play.

He had a great chance to get over the line at 9-5 but missed a red which allowed Williams to pounce.

Former tractor driver Gilbert added: “I’m confused about what happened because I felt fine at 9-5.

“I butchered a red in that frame then it turned around.

“In the last frame I didn’t feel good, I couldn’t get position and I missed a red I would normally pot.

“The occasion got to me. I’m playing in the qualifiers next week so we go again.”

“It has been a good week but sadly it has ended in one of the most disappointing things that has ever happened to me.

“I have to congratulate Mark because he saw it through.”