Mark Willams and Robert Milkins dominated their group yesterday.
Williams Tops Group P
World number 13 Mark Williams won six out of seven matches to top Group P and secure progression to the second phase of the WST Pro Series in Milton Keynes.
The Welshman produced quickfire snooker throughout the day, averaging as little as 15.1 seconds per shot in one of his wins and no more than 17.6 seconds in any of his encounters. Williams fired in century breaks of 108 and 102 on his way to progression.
The three-time Crucible king will now return for the second phase, where he will hope to continue to build his form ahead of next month’s Betfred World Championship. Despite failing to qualify for the upcoming Cazoo Tour Championship, Williams showed glimpses of his best form in reaching the semi-finals of the recent BetVictor Welsh Open.
Williams scored 2-0 wins over Oliver Brown, Florian Nuessle, Gao Yang, Robbie Williams, Nigel Bond and Alex Clenshaw. His only dropped frames came in a 2-0 defeat to Robert Milkins. It’s Milkins who joins Williams in the second phase, having won six of his seven matches.
“I thought I played alright all of the way through. I was lucky in a couple of frames. I was lucky to beat Florian, I got a snooker and won the first frame on the black and then won the next on the pink. It wasn’t as easy as it looked, but I’m just happy to be in the next group,” said 45-year-old Williams. “My aim was just to get to the Crucible without going to the qualifiers. I think I’ve done that now so I’m just looking forward to it and will enjoy it.”
Mark Williams was impressed by Gao Yang, and praised Yan Bingtao, citing him as an example for all young players
Florian Nüβle played some good stuff but struggled to “finish” frames.
Nigel Bond finishing third is quite remarkable. He scored well. That’s not always been the case in recent times although his will to win and tactical nous were never in doubt.