Williams Looks Sharp In Dott Win
Mark Williams reached the second round of the Betfred World Championship for the first time since 2012 with a 10-4 victory over Graeme Dott.
Williams produced perhaps his best performance of the season so far as he compiled a century and seven more breaks over 50 in a clash between two former Crucible kings.
Welshman Williams, the 2000 and 2003 champion, has had a patchy season and lost in the first round of the previous three ranking events. But the 41-year-old has prepared thoroughly for Sheffield and is hopeful of progressing further. He now faces Neil Robertson or Michael Holt in the last 16.
Left-hander Williams led 7-2 overnight and soon extended his lead to 9-2 with runs of 55 and 102. Dott briefly threatened a fight back as he won the next two frames with 54 and 88. But Williams clinched victory in the frame after the interval by clearing from the last red.
“I played very well,” Williams said. “I made good breaks, my safety was good, I’ve kept him under pressure and stayed on top of him for the whole match.
“I’ve been working hard lately and I’ve started wining frames in one visit, which has been unlike me over the last few years. I’m just looking forward to the next game now, it is nice to still be in, usually I’d be in the car on the way home by now.
“Last year was really poor and I think I just wanted to do myself justice. I’m not saying I won’t play utter rubbish in the next round but I’m still in it.
“On paper you’d expect Neil Robertson to come through, and if he does it would be a real occasion and one to look forward to. He’s one of the best players in the world but I am more than capable of beating anyone.
“This tournament doesn’t really start until you get to the second week, and the only time I’ve seen that recently is on the TV so I’m glad to get there.”
Dott said: “It didn’t feel anything like the scoreline shows. It was 7-2 after the first session, and I’ve played a lot worse than that and come out 5-4, so I felt the scoreline was a bit harsh.
“I had to win 3-1 before the interval, but unfortunately the first frame went exactly the same way every frame before that had. I split the pack and didn’t get on anything, while Mark got in and lost position but landed on a red to the middle.
“But he didn’t need the luck, he was playing very well anyway, that’s the best I’ve seen Mark hit the ball in a long time.”
Meanwhile, world number one Mark Selby surged into a 7-2 lead over Robert Milkins. Selby trailed 2-1 early on but then crucially won the fourth frame by potting the final blue and pink. And he stepped up a gear after the interval, firing runs of 50, 72, 68 and 132. They resume on Tuesday at 10am.