Williams crushes White to advance

Mark Williams, snooker's runaway No 1, reached his sixth final in the circuit's last eight events by disposing of Jimmy White 6-2 in their Grand Prix semi-final here yesterday. "I'm playing better each match," said the world champion. "My safety forced Jimmy into mistakes and I took most of my chances."

Mark Williams, snooker's runaway No 1, reached his sixth final in the circuit's last eight events by disposing of Jimmy White 6-2 in their Grand Prix semi-final here yesterday. "I'm playing better each match," said the world champion. "My safety forced Jimmy into mistakes and I took most of my chances."

White, showing signs of mental fatigue from 14 matches in four weeks admitted that he "played awful. I was a little bit tired mentally. I didn't counteract anything he did."

This left Williams expecting to play a resurgent RonnieO'Sullivan, who he lost to in the final of the Champions Cup in early September.

O'Sullivan, who believes that he has "started life again at the age of 24" after "two years on a treadmill of turmoil" had dropped only one frame all week before he was due to tackle the young Scot, Graeme Dott, a surprise semi-finalist, yesterday evening.

White has been a man of many revivals, mostly short- lived, but his current resurgence may be more promisingly based. He seems, at 38, to have more off-table repose, and he has acquired in his lean years a better appreciation of how to win when not at his best.

Losing finalist to Peter Ebdon in the British Open earlier this month, he beat two members of the top 16, Marco Fu and Alan McManus, here although his loss of concentration at 4-0 against McManus involved him in a needless expenditure of nervous energy in scraping home 5-4.

It was just as well that in the quarter-finals, Brian Morgan, the world No 28, could not reproduce the metronomic efficiency which had given him wins over Stephen Hendry and Ebdon as White prevailed 5-3. But he was slow to settle yesterday and quickly found himself 2-0 down to the Welsh left-hander's frame-winning breaks of 64 and 74.

White managed to secure the third on the blue but with a 66 clearance, a 55-9 frame win and a break of 100 Williams went to 5-1, and completed his comfortable victory with a run of 73 in the eighth frame.

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