Snooker: Confident Williams sweeps Cope aside

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The Independent Online

Mark Williams, the two-time world champion, is confident he has enough gears to challenge for a third world title after a dominant display here in Sheffield.

The Welshman, a Crucible winner in 2000 and 2003, eased effortlessly into the quarter-final stage without finding full throttle in an impressive 13-4 win againt Stoke's Jamie Cope.

And with victory Williams, the world No 2, is now confident of his chances of landing a fourth world title.

"I'm not getting overexcited with the way I'm playing, but I know I've got to find another level if I'm going further in the tournament," said Williams. "I know I've got the game, it's just a matter of changing up at the right time."

Amazingly for Williams, one of the sport's most successful players, his next match will be his first Crucible quarter-final since 2006 when he lost 13-11 to Ronnie O'Sullivan.

"I've missed being in the business end of the tournament, I've ended up watching it on TV which is not great," added Williams. "But two of them five years I've ended up playing Ronnie in the second round which hasn't been easy.

"It's nice to be in the second week of the tournament for a change, it's a strange feeling. But I feel as though I've got as good a chance as anybody of winning it."

Ahead 7-1 overnight Williams was always favourite to progress and the breaks kept coming as runs of 53, 61, 106 and 109 secured victory.

Judd Trump, snooker's rising star, took a big step towards securing his quarter-final place having built a commanding 11-5 lead over Martin Gould, the Pinner-based professional, with one session left to play today of their second round match.

Ahead 5-3 overnight, Bristol's Trump pocketed two breaks of 51 and further runs of 108, 69, 84 and 67 to dominate and left himself needing just two frames to progress.

Gould had a top break of 72 in the second session, but the world No 22 has it all to do when the pair resume to a finish this morning.

Barry Hawkins, a qualifier from Dartford, holds a slender 5-3 lead over Ulsterman, a former Crucible semi-finalist, after the opening session of their last 16 match.

Hawkins was always ahead thanks to breaks of 63, 69 and 71, but Allen stuck close with runs of 51 and 64.

Graeme Dott, last year's Crucible runner-up and the 2006 champion, resumes locked at 8-8 with Ali Carter, the 2008 finalist, ahead of the concluding session of their last match today.

Shaun Murphy, the 2005 world champion, is confident he can overcome O'Sullivan in their eagerly-anticipated last-16 showdown here at the World Championship.

Murphy and O'Sullivan begin their best-of-25 frame match this afternoon and will play a maximum of eight frames, before a further eight frames tomorrow.