Snooker: Williams' Shanghai anger
Friday 12 March 1999
Forced to play in a small outside arena due to local Chinese television electing to broadcast the Alan McManus v Mark King match, Williams made his feelings plain. "The table and the room were a disgrace for professional snooker," he moaned. "I can't wait to get out of this place.
"It was the same at the Scottish Open in Aberdeen. The outside table set-up was terrible there as well and something needs to be done. It doesn't make you want to play. Mind you, Paul played really well and towards the end he hammered me. I think he could give John Higgins a fight in the quarter-finals."
Williams moved smoothly into a 2-0 lead with breaks of 53 and 48 and looked capable of repeating his 5-0 first-round whitewash of Dominic Dale. The turning point arrived in the third frame. Having opened the scoring with a 58 break, Williams missed a black off its spot and Davies produced a 67 clearance to steal it. The world No 41 then made breaks of 68, 50, 51 and 42 to dominate the next four frames and record the biggest surprise of the tournament so far.
"The clearance in the third gave me the boost I needed and my form kicked in," Davies said. "I knew this kind of victory was coming because I have been playing so well in practice. It was just a matter of when."
Stephen Hendry returned to his best during a 5-2 quarter-final victory over John Parrott. "That's probably my best performance of the season," declared the six-times world champion, who only squeezed past Steve Davis 5-4 on the black in the previous round. "When you scrape through a match you should by rights have lost it always tends to relax you and that's how I felt out there," added Hendry.
His level of relaxation and focus was apparent from the outset as he prevented Parrott potting a single ball in the opening two frames. The experienced Liverpudlian took the third with a break of 63 and opened the scoring with 51 in the fourth before Hendry rolled in a long red to launch the 87 clearance which gave him a 3-1 lead.
Parrott won a scrappy fifth frame but did not take another point as Hendry impressively whipped through the next two frames in only 18 minutes with breaks of 107, 46 and 30.
"It was very encouraging, because I can't remember missing an important pot from distance apart from one when a TV cameraman put me off by moving. I just hope I can keep this momentum going," added Hendry.
Next up for Hendry, who is bidding to capture his fourth title of the season, will be Billy Snaddon, his practice partner at Spencers Snooker Centre in Stirling for the past eight years.
Latest in Sport
Chelsea vs Manchester United: Jose Mourinho dismisses United injury worries, saying 'they have an amazing squad'
Aaron Hernandez: American Football in the dock as NFL star player's murderous double life is revealed
Chelsea vs Manchester United: Why Blues are the least popular team in the league
Chelsea vs Manchester United combined XI: Thibaut Courtois or David De Gea? Juan Mata or Willian? Who makes our team?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Where are the tickets for the fight?
- 1 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
General Election 2015: Polish prince challenges Nigel Farage to a duel over immigration question
£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...
£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...