Willo playing for fun in his 30th season

Mark Williams will play today in the very first match of the season. He has been interviewed by WST:

Enjoyment The Key For Evergreen Williams

Mark Williams insists he will continue to take a carefree attitude into tournaments in the coming season and to focus on enjoyment of the game rather than results.

Williams is going into his 30th professional season

The three-time World Champion has played with a fast and fluid style in recent years, with an average shot time often as low as 15 seconds. And that paid dividends last season as he won the WST Pro Series and reached the semi-finals of two other events, as well as the quarter-finals at the Crucible.

At the age of 46, the Welshman intends to squeeze as much fun as he can out of the rest of his career. “I played as fast as I can last season and loved every minute of it,” said Williams. “I lost a lot of matches I should have won, but also played some good stuff. I looked dangerous for the first time in a while. Maybe that’s because I got on with it. Obviously I want to win, but if I don’t, no problem.

I won’t practise much this season, maybe a couple of hours every day or every other day. That might affect my form, but I have accepted that. It’s enough to keep me in half decent condition. I’m enjoying it, and that’s my aim, rather than to get bogged down. I can have a best-of-19 in the club with Jackson (Page) in less than two hours because we are both pretty quick.

My only target now is to see how long I can stay on the tour for. I would like to see where I am when I’m 50 – whether I’m still in the top 16. I want to see how long I can stay on the tour on merit.

Williams plays on the opening day of the new season on Sunday at the BetVictor Championship League – for the match schedule click here and for details of how to watch, click here.

Déjà-vu feeling? Well, yes. When you go into your 30th year as a professional, when you have been playing seriously since you were a kid and won everything there is to win, how do you keep going? By finding ways to continue to enjoy it.

This is not very different to what Ronnie has been saying in recent years and it’s not surprising as they have started playing at the same time, turned pro at the same time and are both still in the top 16. This approach will probably not yield many titles; we should accept that and be grateful because it will keep them playing and wanting to play.

One thought on “Willo playing for fun in his 30th season

  1. I suppose this is the way it is and is understandable. But on the other hand, people who buy tickets to see a competition are interested in seeing players to play in the way that suggests that it does matter for them to win and care less whether or now the players enjoy themselves. I know Williams said he still wants to win and nobody wants any player to sink into depression over a loss, neither do I say that they should quit if no longer competitive enough – I’m simply trying to pinpoint some tension here between the need to make the sport popular and attractive to viewers and some players’ continuous emphasis on not caring about results only their own enjoyment.

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