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Mark Williams battles nerves to set up British Open final with Mark Selby

30 Sep 2023 2 minute read
Mark Williams.Photo Richard Sellers PA Images

Mark Williams overcame nerves to reach his 40th career ranking final as he beat Hossein Vafaei 6-3 in the Cazoo British Open.

The two-time champion admitted he “was totally gone” and was shaking after his Iranian opponent’s brilliant break of 135 saw him close to 4-3 in the opening semi-final.

But Williams composed himself with breaks of 62 and 71 to progress.

“When it got to 4-3 I was gone,” Williams, who won this event in 1997 and 2021, told the World Snooker Tour’s website.

“I don’t know what it was. I was shaking a bit and he had me, he just let me off towards the end.

“I’m quite good at holding my expressions in but I was totally gone. I was shaking a bit, which never happens to me. If I had to play like that all the time then I wouldn’t win many games.

“It was a big game for me. It is another final and I don’t know how many more times I am going to get to the final of these big competitions.”

Williams will face Mark Selby in Sunday’s final after he swept Xiao Guodong 6-0.

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