HomeNewsWorld Snooker Championship 2023: Mark Williams beats Jimmy Robertson

World Snooker Championship 2023: Mark Williams beats Jimmy Robertson

Mark Williams (right)
Mark Williams has won 24 ranking titles
Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 15 April-1 May
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV and Red Button with uninterrupted coverage on BBC iPlayer, the BBC Sport website and the BBC Sport app

Three-time champion Mark Williams produced a classy display to beat Jimmy Robertson 10-5 in the first round of the World Championship.

Trailing 5-4 overnight, the 48-year-old Welshman compiled four half centuries as he reeled off six frames in a row to seal his victory.

It was a tough afternoon for England’s Robertson, 36, who is yet to win a match at the Crucible in five attempts.

Williams will face Belgium’s Luca Brecel in the second round.

“I was a bit unfortunate to be 5-4 down but I have been here many times to know it was still anyone’s game. I came out today and played well and made some good breaks,” Williams told BBC Sport.

“I’m a danger to anyone and I can be a thorn in anyone’s side. If you’d have said that after 30 years as a pro I’d still be in the top 10, I’d have said, ‘no chance’ but I am still here fighting and I can still give anyone a good game on my day.

“I am tough to beat and have moulded into a more rounded player than I used to be.”

He will begin his best-of-25 contest against Brecel at 10:00 BST on Friday with a good omen on his side, having also beaten Robertson 10-5 in their previous meeting at the Crucible in the opening round in 2018.

Williams went on to win the last of his three titles that year and there have been few signs in the intervening years that his performance levels have dipped – underlined by his narrow 10-8 loss to Judd Trump in the final of the Masters in January.

His experience and mentality told against the Englishman.

Breaks of 51, 69 and 64 alongside some excellent match-play to starve his opponent of good opportunities saw him go 7-5 ahead, and as the pressure increased on Robertson, Williams made an 84 on the way to securing his win.

Analysis – Williams has ‘still got it’

Shaun Murphy, 2005 world champion, on BBC Two

Mark found another gear and completely shut Jimmy out. It was the performance of an experienced, established former champion. He is a master of downplaying his quality. He has still got it.

He has got so much in the tank. He has got all the shots and all the ringcraft.

Ken Doherty,1997 world champion:

It was a total masterclass of match-play snooker from Mark Williams. He can win frames with a barrage of breaks when he is playing well but he can also win the other side of the game. There is no better scrapper than Mark Williams.

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