Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Wonderful Williams whitewashes Fu

Mark Williams has been touted as the fans' favourite to lift this year's Welsh Open.

Fresh off the back of his triumph at the German Masters just a little over a week ago, and playing the kind of snooker which saw him at the top of the game a decade ago, he's in red-hot form.

He proved that beyond any doubt today as he smashed past Marco Fu with ease 4-0, to steal all the headlines on day two in Newport, to the delight of the home crowd.

This was by no means an easy game either with Fu having been his opponent in the last four in Berlin.

But such is the quality of his long game and break building right now, it looks like no-one can stop. In this kind of mood, he makes the game look effortless, and playing like he is, he looks every inch the new world number one in wanting.

He's back to his peak and a confident Williams is as good as anyone in the game.

It's fantastic to see a Welshman enjoying such a purple patch playing in his home tournament, but unfortunately it wasn't so bright for Williams' fellow countryman Dominic Dale. He was defeated 4-2 by Peter Ebdon, who as well as showing his usual grit, played some good stuff along the way.

He recovered from 2-1 down to win the match and he continues to prove his critics wrong.

The Welsh Open has a habit of handing players their first ranking event title. That will make Mark Allen's ears prick up, as he's still to pick up a trophy despite a bright start to his career.

He breezed into round two beat Rod Lawler 4-1 on his long-awaited return to the televised stages of a tournament. He gave the veteran a real torrid time, showing his more experienced opponent how brutal the new younger breed of players are.

It wasn't so straightforward for another two of the game's top seeds. World champion Neil Robertson was forced to recover from 2-0 down before eventually beating Nigel Bond 4-2. The Aussie showed nerves of steel to the turn the tables when many other players may have panicked after such a poor start in a short match.

Mark Selby raced into a 2-0 lead in his match but was left sweating before wrapping up a 4-3 win against Stuart Bingham.

That defeat dashes Bingham's hopes of clinching a top 16 place but another good performance proves again just how close he's coming. The Essex man had a good chance in the decider with more than 50 already on the board, but he missed an easy red, and paid the price.

In the day's final match, Graeme Dott ran out a 4-1 winner over Jamie Burnett.

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