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February 25, 2021

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Mark Williams sets up Ronnie O’Sullivan clash in Welsh Open semi-finals

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Mark Williams is into the final four at Celtic Manor (Picture: Getty Images)

Mark Williams has set up a blockbuster semi-final with Ronnie O’Sullivan at the Welsh Open after a tense 5-4 win over Tom Ford in the last eight on Friday night.

The three-time world champion was pushed all the way by the dogged Englishman, but eventually got over the line and into the final four.

The Welsh Potting Machine looked good at times, with breaks of 86, 70 and 67, but also nervy, missing some straightforward pots as he neared the winning line.

It had looked likely to be a short night for the two men as Williams strolled into a 3-0 lead, but Ford fought back and took the contest all the way to a deciding frame.

The Englishman had a chance in the ninth, but spurned it and Williams pounced on the opportunity to get over the line.

‘Yeah it was quite good. It’s funny because I felt more focused in that match and I was trying harder than the other three but I struggled,’ Williams told Eurosport.

‘I felt like I played quite well, you’re always going to miss easy ones in a best of nine.’

Ronnie O’Sullivan added of Ford’s missed opportunity in the last frame as he over-screwed on a yellow by a substantial margin, losing his chance.

‘Tom’s got to be absolutely gutted, you’ve got to feel for him because he played really well to get back into the game, but that’s just the way snooker goes,’ said the Rocket.

On whether he enjoys playing the Rocket, Williams said: ‘No not really, because he always beats me, I don’t beat him for 15 years.

‘No, if you don’t like playing someone like Ronnie in the semi-final of a big tournament you shouldn’t be playing the game.

‘It’s going to be difficult, he seems to be playing well.

‘We both ain’t as good as we used to be, there’s going to be chances, it’s whether we take them.

‘Ronnie’s the man to beat, like he is in any tournament he’s in.’

Williams and O’Sullivan will meet in the second semi-final on Saturday night after Stephen Maguire takes on Jordan Brown in the first clash at 1pm.


MORE : Mark Selby blasts his own ‘pathetic’ performance in Welsh Open defeat to Jordan Brown


MORE : Tom Ford struggling mentally despite superb Welsh Open run: ‘I’m just fed up with everything’

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