10 February 2020 23:56
Two-time Welsh Open champion Williams eased into the second round of the tournament with a 4-1 win over Oliver Lines. The home favourite was particular pleased with the win having suffered from gout in recent months, and was upbeat about the season going forward. "The gout is gone, thank god, fingers crossed it doesn't come back," Williams told World Snooker Tour. Williams rattled off four frames in a row after going 1-0 to Lines, including a break of 87. "I played okay in patches, it was a bit scrappy but I was just hoping to get through," Williams added.
"If I hadn't been practicing this last month I probably would have lost that. "I've let myself down over the last 12 months. I've been picking my cue up knowing I'm going to get hammered. I thought, I've had enough, I may as well practice and give it a go. "The next couple of months is all about trying to win matches to get a bit of momentum going heading into the world championships." The 2019 Welsh Open was won by Australia's Neil Robertson 2020 Welsh Open Dates: 10-16 February Venue: Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff Coverage: Watch live across BBC Two Wales, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, the BBC Sport website and mobile app.
Joe Perry was another player knocked out in the first round. The Englishman led 3-2 but lost the final two frames to world number 84 Ashley Carty. Ding Junhui, Mark Selby and reigning world champion Judd Trump are all in action on Monday evening. Reigning Welsh Open champion Neil Robertson plays his first-round match against Wales' Jamie Clarke on Tuesday evening after Ronnie O'Sullivan faces Zhang Jiankang earlier in the day. Inspired to try snooker?
Find out how to get into snooker, pool and billiards with our fully inclusive guide. Sign up to My Sport to follow snooker news on the BBC app. Two-time champion Williams was pegged back as Lines took the opening frame. But the home favourite rattled off a break of 87, before edging the third frame 57-56 to take the lead. And WIlliams was ruthless from then on in, racing through for the win that puts him into the second round. Video - 'Fans not disappointed' - Stevens races through break of 139 00:40 Stevens flew out the blocks with a 111 before Gilbert fought back with breaks of 68 and 53 to lead 3-1. Video - Stevens seals nailbiting win over Gilbert at Welsh Open 01:17 Elsewhere, Ding also came from behind to beat Marco Fu to join Williams in the second round. Fu took the first frame off the UK Championship winner with a break of 80, before Ding edged a tight second frame. Ding then hit an 80 of his own took go 2-1 up but Fu levelled in the fourth. But Fu was second best as the match went on, as Ding put together breaks of 92 and 66 to take the match. On an evening of fight backs, Stuart Bingham also clawed his way back from 2-0 down to beat Martin Gould 4-2 in an extremely cagey match. Day One fixtures David Gilbert 2-4 Matthew Stevens Martin O'Donnell 4-0 Andy Hicks Joe Perry 3-4 Ashley Cartey Daniel Wells 4-2 Barry Pinches Lee Walker 2-4 John Astley Mark Williams 4-1 Oliver Lines Robbie Williams 4-1 Chris Wakelin Ding Junhui 4-2 Marco Fu Anthony McGill 4-1 Duane Jones Stuart Bingham 4-2 Martin Gould Ryan Day 1-4 Simon Lichtenberg Anthony Hamilton v Michael White Mark King 1-4 Ken Doherty Matthew Selt v Andy Lee Mark Selby v David Grace MARK Williams believes he is a changed man after booking his place in the second round of the ManBetX Welsh Open, writes Will Jennings (Sportsbeat). The three-time-world champion safely navigated his way through his first round clash with Oliver Lines at Cardiff's Motorpoint Arena, winning 4-1 after constructing a classy break of 87 in frame two. And while it has been far from plain sailing for the Cwm potter this season, he says he regrets his lack of preparation in recent months and is changing his ways with the Betfred World Championship rapidly approaching. "If I hadn't been practising during the last month I would have probably lost that match, but I managed to stick in and get the win. "I've let myself down over the last 12 months in that I literally won't pick my cue up and will just go into tournaments knowing I'm going to get hammered. "I just had enough of it in the end and thought I may as well practice for the end of the season and try and get a bit of momentum - I wanted to give the last few months the best shot I could at doing well and see what happens. "The next couple of months is all about trying to win as many matches as I can and trying to get a bit of momentum ahead of the World Championships. "If you go into it with no momentum the chances are you won't do very well, because it's such a long, gruelling 17 days. Newport's Darren Morgan was another Welsh player to enjoy a successful first day in Cardiff, easing past Gavin Lewis 4-0 in their first round qualifier. While there were no breaks upward of 50 in the match it was a composed performance from the 53-year-old amateur, who lost to Jimmy White in the final at the World Seniors Championship last year. Elsewhere, world No35 Matthew Stevens beat David Gilbert 4-2, Daniel Wells overcame Barry Pinches 4-2 while world No80 Lee Walker was defeated by the same score against John Astley. Watch the Welsh Open live on Eurosport and Eurosport Player with analysis from Jimmy White and Neal Foulds