Watch: Mark Williams’ wonderful interview after British Open victory
After Mark Williams had rolled back the years to see off Mark Selby’s spirited fightback and take the British Open title with a 10-7 victory he still seemed in somewhat of a daze.
You couldn’t blame him, it was a first tournament victory for sometime.
However, the Welshman couldn’t quite believe what he had achieved after beating four time world champion, Selby.
The Welshman had opened up a 3-0 lead in Sunday’s first session following breaks of 110 and 55. Selby, though, came back to snatch a frame before the interval with his own half-century clearance.
After Williams moved further ahead again with a clearance of 133, Selby fought back with breaks of 98 and 73 to end the session trailing just 5-3.
Selby took the first frame of the evening session with another century to close up again, only for Williams to respond and move into the interval with a 7-5 lead.
But Selby continued to dig in and secured back-to-back frames.
The Welshman ground out the 16th frame having trailed 56-0 with a 69 clearance to put him on the brink of victory.
Selby was 54-18 ahead in the next when he went round the back of a red up the table, handing Williams a free ball.
The Welshman took his opportunity, sinking the black before going on to clear up, taking the frame 59-54 and with it a 25th world ranking title.
— World Snooker Tour (@WeAreWST) October 1, 2023
“It was unbelievable towards the end, and both of us were feeling the nerves a bit – how I managed to win that last frame, I don’t know,” said the Welshman, who reckoned it was one of his best wins ever.
“I never expected I could still get to finals at 48 and to win, playing someone like Mark Selby, what can I say? These things don’t come along too often at my age, so I am just going to enjoy this one.”
Williams, a three-time world champion, is the second oldest winner of a ranking title – his first having come in 1996, but in a revealing interview with the World Snooker Tour he expressed his wish to continue playing.
“I’m going to keep on going until I can’t play anymore, how long I can keep going at this level I don’t know,” he said. “Ive always wanted to see where i would be at 50, so I’ll enjoy the ride while I’m still going.”
Mark Selby paid tribute to Williams’ efforts.
“He played amazing, I can’t remember him missing too many long balls – when he was at his peak he was doing that all the time and he sort of rolled back the years today,” Selby said.
“It wasn’t to be for me, I felt like I was fighting against it all day… but (in general) I feel good about my game. I dug in and gave it my all like always.”
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