Mark Williams
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Mark Williams – ‘when I get down, most of them are blurred’

Mark Williams reached the second round of the World Grand Prix on Tuesday after a 4-3 victory over Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in Leicester.

The Welshman compiled breaks of 134, 52, and a 50 in the deciding frame to prevail from a ding-dong battle with the talented Thai.

“It felt like it was a good game,” reigning British Open champion Mark Williams told the World Snooker Tour.

“I think I played well, I think he played well himself. There wasn’t many balls missed, I missed a couple of ones I should have got.

“But I’m expecting that, I’ve just got to get on with it. Luckily enough, I left him a couple in the last frame – not easy ones.

“He missed a tricky yellow and a long red, really tricky. Apart from that, overall I think it was a decent standard.”

Williams, who will meet Hossein Vafaei in the last 16 at the Morningside Arena, has had a decent 2023/24 snooker season so far.

The 48 year-old reached the final of the season-opening Championship League Snooker before capturing a 25th career ranking title at the British Open in October.

Williams is currently ranked inside the world’s top eight and is satisfied with his level despite increasing concerns surrounding the condition of his eyesight.

“I think it’s (my game) as good as it can be with the stage I am at in my career,” Williams said.

“The time I’m putting in and my age, I can’t see much. I think it’s as good as it can be.”

“When I’m stood up, it’s (eyesight) okayish. When I get down, most of them are blurred – especially the long ones. It’s a total guess.

“Like I said before, I’m guessing alright. I’m getting a lot of them. I’m missing a lot of them by miles, but I’m getting some of them as well.

“That’s the reason I haven’t gone further into what can be done.

“I’m going to try contacts in a couple of weeks, but I don’t know how that’s going to go. I’ll try them and see where I go from there.”

Elsewhere, Ronnie O’Sullivan advanced from his opening encounter with a 4-2 defeat of Pang Junxu.

The Rocket compiled breaks of 111, 95, 70, and 50 to beat the young Chinese competitor only two days after sealing an eighth Masters crown.

O’Sullivan’s opponent from Sunday’s final at the Alexandra Palace also progressed, with Ali Carter edging Wu Yize in a deciding frame.

The animosity between O’Sullivan and Carter has ratcheted up several notches since the conclusion of their clash in London.

There has been a war of words between the pair of Englishmen in the days since, and with both players on opposite sides of the draw this week, a potential blockbuster second final against one another remains on the cards.

Plenty of others will have a say in that between now and the weekend, of course.

The likes of top seed Judd Trump, Mark Selby, Shaun Murphy, and Gary Wilson have all safely negotiated their initial hurdles.

Tom Ford, Zhou Yuelong, Lyu Haotian, and Cao Yupeng are also through to the last 16 following the opening two days of action.

On Wednesday afternoon, the round of 32 concludes with defending champion Mark Allen among those entering the fray.

The Northern Irishman has been handed one of the most difficult first-round draws in Jack Lisowski.

Later on day three, the second round will also commence.

Snooker odds for the tournament, meanwhile, are available at 1x-bet.com – which has a sportsbook, a live casino site, and other games on offer to play.


2024 World Grand Prix draw and schedule


Round of 32 (bo7)

Judd Trump 4-2 Jamie Jones
Lyu Haotian 4-3 Chris Wakelin

Mark Selby 4-3 Yuan Sijun
Ali Carter 4-3 Wu Yize

Barry Hawkins 3-4 Cao Yupeng
John Higgins 0-4 Shaun Murphy

Hossein Vafaei 4-3 Matthew Selt
Mark Williams 4-3 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh

Zhang Anda 4-2 Dominic Dale
Mark Allen 4-2 Jack Lisowski

Noppon Saengkham 4-1 Xiao Guodong
Ding Junhui 4-3 Ricky Walden

Tom Ford 4-1 Jordan Brown
Gary Wilson 4-2 David Gilbert

Zhou Yuelong 4-1 Stephen Maguire
Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-2 Pang Junxu

Round of 16 (bo7)

Judd Trump 4-0 Lyu Haotian
Mark Selby 4-3 Ali Carter

Cao Yupeng 4-0 Shaun Murphy
Hossein Vafaei 1-4 Mark Williams

Zhang Anda 4-2 Mark Allen
Noppon Saengkham 1-4 Ding Junhui

Tom Ford 2-4 Gary Wilson
Zhou Yuelong 3-4 Ronnie O’Sullivan

Quarter-Finals (bo9)

Judd Trump 5-1 Mark Selby
Cao Yupeng 5-4 Mark Williams

Zhang Anda 2-5 Ding Junhui
Gary Wilson 1-5 Ronnie O’Sullivan

Semi-Finals (bo11)

Judd Trump 6-2 Cao Yupeng

Ding Junhui 1-6 Ronnie O’Sullivan

Final (bo19)

Judd Trump 7-10 Ronnie O’Sullivan


Featured photo credit: WST

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