Mark Williams beats Ronnie O’Sullivan in Tour Championship final after winning seven frames in a row | Snooker News

Mark Williams wins seven frames in a row to beat Ronnie O’Sullivan in Tour Championship final; Williams claims 26th rankings title, denies O’Sullivan a 42nd; World Snooker Championship runs from April 20 to May 6 at The Crucible in Sheffield with O’Sullivan looking for record eighth title

Last Updated: 07/04/24 10:09pm

Mark Williams won seven frames in a row to beat Ronnie O'Sullivan 10-5 in the Tour Championship final

Mark Williams won seven frames in a row to beat Ronnie O’Sullivan 10-5 in the Tour Championship final

Mark Williams won seven frames in a row to beat Ronnie O’Sullivan 10-5 at the Tour Championship and claim the final piece of silverware before the World Championship in Sheffield.

Williams trailed 5-3 at the end of the afternoon session in Manchester after O’Sullivan reeled off four frames in a row from 3-1 down, with the Rocket sinking three century breaks in that run.

However, Welshman Williams was in sizzling form in the evening, surging to victory with two centuries, a 99 and two further breaks in excess of fifty to secure his 26th career ranking title and deny O’Sullivan a 42nd.

The match between two players who turned professional in 1992 set the record for the highest combined age in a ranking final at 97, with O’Sullivan 48 years of age and Williams 49.

O'Sullivan will aim for an eighth World Snooker Championship title at The Crucible in Sheffield from April 20

O’Sullivan will aim for an eighth World Snooker Championship title at The Crucible in Sheffield from April 20

Williams – who had lost 22 of his last 24 matches against world No 1 O’Sullivan and 33 out of 42 overall – picked up his second title of the season having won the British Open in Cheltenham in October.

Williams told ITV4: “I played well all day. I was 3-1 up, 5-3 down, Ronnie played unbelievably well and sometimes you’ve got to hold your hands up, but tonight I took it to him and played really well.

“It’s not bad for a part-timer! I never thought I’d be winning tournaments at 49. The World Championships are around the corner. [O’Sullivan] is the man to beat, but you never know. I’ll try my best.”

O’Sullivan denied sixth title of the season

O’Sullivan was aiming for his sixth trophy of 2023/24, following victories at the Shanghai Masters, UK Championship, The Masters, World Grand Prix and World Masters of Snooker this campaign.

The Rocket will now look to achieve that at the World Championship from April 20 as he targets an outright record eighth triumph at the event, having equalled Stephen Hendry’s haul of seven Crucible crowns when he won the 2022 edition.

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O’Sullivan was knocked out in the quarter-finals by eventual winner Luca Brecel in 2023, with Brecel going on to defeat four-time world champion Mark Selby in the final.

O’Sullivan will enter this year’s competition as the second seed, with the defending champion – in this case Brecel – handed the top seeding in Sheffield.

On his defeat to Williams, O’Sullivan said: “I think he’s been the best player, the most consistent player, over the last five years.

“He’s an amazing player. He rarely plays a poor match. He’s so talented and I think he’s better now than he’s ever been.

“I tried to give it everything. I did it this afternoon to stay in the match but he’s so consistent, so strong, if you don’t consistently play top-level snooker he’ll eat you alive.”

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