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Mark Williams sets up Ronnie O’Sullivan showdown in Tour Championship final

06 Apr 2024 2 minute read
Mark Williams.Photo Richard Sellers PA Images

Mark Williams survived an unlikely fightback to beat Mark Allen 10-5 and book a mouthwatering Tour Championship final with Ronnie O’Sullivan.

The Welshman raced into a 9-0 lead at Manchester Central, but then saw the Northern Irishman take five frames on the trot to delay the seemingly inevitable.

Asked if he had been worried, Williams told ITV3: “Absolutely. Nine-nil, you can’t lose really, but an hour later it’s 9-5, if he wins that one 9-6, then your bum is going, there’s no question.”

The three-time world champion imposed a stranglehold on the match from the off, winning the first two frames before successive breaks of 99, 105 and 112 – he missed the final red in the latter as he closed in on a maximum – made it 5-0 as things started to turn ugly for Allen.

Williams scrapped his way over the line in the sixth and eased further ahead in the seventh before completing a first-session whitewash.

He picked up where he had left off in the evening session, rattling in a clearance of 140 to go 9-0 ahead, but Allen stopped the rot with a break of 65 to avoid the whitewash.

With Williams appearing to lose concentration, Allen won the next four frames – the last of them with a break of 69 – to reduce the deficit to 9-5.

However, the 49-year-old regained his composure to compile a decisive 75 to make Sunday’s final.

Williams said: “If I had to pick, it would definitely be O’Sullivan to play. He’s the best player by a mile, but I’m not afraid to play him. I’m going to enjoy it.”

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