Phil Haigh ✍️
Mark Williams battled to victory against Yan Bingtao in the World Snooker Championship quarter-finals, fighting to a 13-11 win over the Chinese star.
The 47-year-old becomes the oldest semi-finalist since Ray Reardon in 1985 and sets up a final four clash with either Judd Trump or Stuart Bingham.
The Welsh Potting Machine grabbed a 6-2 lead after the first session but Yan fought back admirably and things were looking good for the 22-year-old as he led 11-10, only for the veteran to win the last three frames and the match in style.
‘I’m just over the moon to get to the semi-final,’ said the Welshman.’ The one-table set-up is the best venue in the world.’
‘Great match to be involved with. To make them two breaks at the end, under extreme pressure I’m over the moon.
‘I deserve that one because a lot of matches this year have been really close and gone the other way, so I’ve got one.’
The game swung one way and the other pretty violently over the first two sessions, with Williams dominating the first and Yan the second.
The Welshman led 6-2 after Tuesday’s first instalment, making breaks of 106, 77, 72, 61 and 60 as the immense scoring he has shown all tournamnet continued.
Yan had made breaks of 102 and 85 to claim the two frames he won, so his form was clearly there, and he showed it on Tuesday evening as he turned the game on its head to level up at 8-8.
Williams admitted he was struggling with fatigue in his second session of the day and the Tiger took advantage, adding breaks of 103, 80 and 72 to his tally to finish the day level.
After two one-sided sessions, a closely contested one was only right to finish the game off and it was tense throughout as they jostled to cross the finish line first.
Yan grabbed the first two, making a third century of the match, but Williams responded by taking two on the spin himself, with a cracking 135 break included.
It was getting very edgy at 10-10 and the Chinese star took the next after escaping a really grim-looking snooker and then scoring an outrageous fluke on the final red. The veteran is very rarely rattled, though, and hit straight back to level up again.
As Yan flagged slightly near the end, Williams stayed strong and made breaks of 66 and 78 in hugely impressive fashion to win the match.
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