Williams ready for revenge

Mark Williams entered the closing session of the Grand Prix final in Telford last night only three frames short of capturing the 10th world ranking title of his career and tightening his already firm grip on the world No 1 spot.

Mark Williams entered the closing session of the Grand Prix final in Telford last night only three frames short of capturing the 10th world ranking title of his career and tightening his already firm grip on the world No 1 spot.

The world champion produced a fine performance to end the afternoon holding a 6-2 lead over Ronnie O'Sullivan and left the arena favourite to collect the £62,000 first prize.

The 25-year-old from Ebbw Vale, who is appearing in his seventh final of the year, was clearly determined to exact revenge for his 9-1 thrashing by O'Sullivan in the climax of the Scottish Open six months ago, the last time they clashed in a ranking event final.

O'Sullivan, who beat Williams 7-5 to lift the season-opening Champions Cup in Brighton last month, made a bright start when he potted a long red and cleared the colours to draw first blood.

A plant launched a 101 break from Williams in the next, before O'Sullivan briefly slipped into top gear himself with a run of 71 to move 2-1 ahead.

Williams then came close to qualifying for a £25,000 bonus when he began the fourth by potting 10 reds with nine blacks. A maximum 147 looked on until the Welshman left a black in the jaws of a top corner pocket.

That disappointment did not effect him. After the mid-session interval, he reeled off four straight frames to seize control of the fast-flowing contest.

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