Archive Page

Williams – Pressure On World Qualifier

Two-time Crucible king Mark Williams will have to face the qualifying rounds of the Dafabet World Championship next month and admits he’d hate to miss out on snooker’s Theatre of Dreams.



The Welshman lifted the famous trophy in 2000 and 2003 and has won 18 ranking titles in all, but has dropped out of the world’s top 16 this season so has to win one qualifying match to earn a spot at the Crucible for the televised stages.



The qualifiers at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre run from April 8 to 16. The final round will be on April 15 and 16, with the winners to go through to the Crucible to be drawn at random against the top 16 seeds.



“I haven’t had to qualify many times in the past but I’ve got to do it now,” said 39-year-old Welshman Williams. “It’s not nice but I just have to get on with it. I don’t want to finish the season sitting at home rather than being at the Crucible. There’s a lot of pressure on everyone in that final qualifying round.”



Williams was out of the top 16 in 2009 but came through the qualifying round, beating Tom Ford 10-5. He has been ever-present at the Crucible since 1997. “That’s a good record and it would be nice to keep it going,” he added. “If I don’t make it then it’s up to me to get back into the top 16 next season to make sure I don’t have to qualify again.”



Graeme Dott, the 2006 World Champion, and two-time finalist Matthew Stevens will be among the other stars in the final qualifying round, while legends Steve Davis and Jimmy White will start their campaign earlier in the event. Both may need to win matches to keep their place on the World Snooker Tour.



Tickets for the qualifiers cost just £10 for a full day, exceptional value for the chance to see many leading players competing in snooker's biggest tournament.



BOOK YOUR TICKETS NOW by calling the box office on 0114 2233777 or visiting



There is also a SPECIAL OFFER of any three days for £20. Quote 'Special Offer'.



Students can buy all-day tickets for the two Tuesdays for just £5 (limited offer). Quote 'Student Tuesday'.



Please note there is no play on Monday April 14 due to the tables being re-covered.



The Dafabet World Championship is supported by Sheffield City Council. The final stages run from April 19 to may 5 at the Crucible – for ticket details call 0844 65 65 147 or visit

Brilliant Bingham Wins Asian PTC

Stuart Bingham

Stuart Bingham made a superb start to the season by winning Guotai Liqueur Asian Players Tour Championship event one in Zhangjiagang, China.
World No 16 Bingham beat Stephen Lee 4-3 in an exciting final to take the £10,000 top prize in the new event. He won five matches in the tournament overall.
There are three new Asian PTC events this season, which form part of the overall PTC series. By winning the first event, Bingham already is assured of a place in the Grand Finals next March.
The 35-year-old from Basildon took the opening frame with a break of 51 before Wiltshire’s Lee won the next two. Bingham levelled with a 67 then Lee, who won the PTC Grand Finals last season, went 3-2 up with a run of 87.
Bingham knocked in a 63 to force the decider, then won a thrilling last frame by clearing blue, pink and black for victory.
It has been a sensational start to the season for Bingham as he also won the Pink Ribbon pro-am in Gloucester earlier this month. He won his breakthrough major title at last season’s Australian Goldfields Open and now seems determined to boost his haul of trophies. The tour stays in China for the first full ranking event of the season, the Wuxi Classic, which starts on Monday, then it’s on to Australia where Bingham will be defending the title.
“Last year I started the season well then fell away, but this time I want to keep the form going,” he said. “I came out here for the three events just aiming to win one of them, and I’ve got a trophy already so anything else is a bonus. I’m full of conficence now and I want to do well in the next two events.
“It’s great to already have a place guaranteed in the PTC Grand Finals because I missed it last year. But I’ll probably still play in all the other PTC events because I’m the type to go anywhere and play in anything.”
Earlier, Bingham beat Michael White 4-2 in the semi-finals with top breaks of 74, 78 and 117, while Lee saw off China’s Chen Zhe 4-2 with a top run of 100.
Results (last 16 onwards)
Last 16
Ben Woollaston 4-2 Cao Kaisheng
Li Yuan 1-4 Zhang Anda
Stuart Bingham 4-0 Lin Shuai
Chen Zhe 4-3 Tom Ford
Mark Williams 1-4 Michael White
Robert Milkins 3-4 Ding Junhui
Stephen Lee 4-3 Zhao Xintong
Tian Pengfei 4-1 Mei Xiwen
Michael White 4-3 Zhang Anda
Stuart Bingham 4-3 Ding Junhui
Stephen Lee 4-2 Tian Pengfei
Chen Zhe 4-0 Ben Woollaston
Michael White 2-4 Stuart Bingham
Chen Zhe 2-4 Stephen Lee

Stuart Bingham 4-3 Stephen Lee

Star Xing Pai Haikou World Open Day One

Hainan Island, China

Michael Holt made a century in the deciding frame to edge out Zhu Yinghui 5-4 at the 2012 Haikou World Open.

Nottingham’s Holt survived a scare against 17-year-old Zhu, one of the crop of young Chinese wildcards. Holt’s heavy scoring was ultimately the difference as he weighed in with three centuries: 101 in the first and last frames and a tournament high 135 in the third.

With the match poised at 3-3, Zhu missed a relatively easy black and Holt took full advantage to edge into the lead in what was the turning point of the match. Zhu levelled at 4-4 with a 69 clearance before Holt clinched victory with his third ton.
“He played well and didn’t do much wrong,” said Holt, who now plays Stuart Bingham. “He should have won really as he missed that black to go 4-3. I was a bit lucky even though I made some good breaks.”

Lu Ning, an 18 year-old from Jilin, gained a hard-fought win over veteran Nigel Bond to set up a last 32 match against World No.1 Mark Selby.

It was a scrappy affair with only two 50 plus breaks, a 51 from Bond to win the third frame and a 94 from Lu to give himself a 4-3 lead. In the end a run of 43 in the decider saw Lu over the line. “Before the match I didn’t really think I would win but as the match progressed I really started to believe that I could,” said a delighted Lu.
One other Chinese wild card knocked out his professional opponent as 30-year-old Jin Long scored a 5-3 win over England’s Sam Baird to set up a last 16 meeting with Ding Junhui.

Jin opened up a 3-0 lead with breaks of 50 and 60 before Devon-based Baird pulled one back before the mid-session interval. Jin made it 4-1 when they resumed but breaks of 73 and 56 from Baird gave him every chance, before his opponent stole the match-winning frame on the black.

Day one results (wild card round):
Sam Baird (ENG) 3-5 Jin Long (CHN)
Tom Ford (ENG) 5-4 Lu Haotian (CHN)
Mark King (ENG) 5-2 Hossein Vafaei Ayori (IRI)
Robert Milkins (ENG) 5-3 Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon (THA)
Jimmy Robertson (ENG) 5-2 Zhou Yuelong (CHN)
Joe Perry (ENG) 5-0 Rouzi Maimaiti (CHN)
Michael Holt (ENG) 5-4 Zhu Yinghui (CHN)
Nigel Bond (ENG) 4-5 Lu Ning (CHN)

The first round proper starts on Tuesday, with the £400,000 world ranking tournament running until Sunday.

Ace Trump Wins Antwerp Thriller

Judd Trump beat Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-3 in a sensational final at Players Tour Championship event nine in Antwerp, Belgium.

A high quality encounter between two of snooker’s most dazzling talents at the Lotto Arena was watched by a crowd of nearly 1,500. They saw O’Sullivan open with a break of 63 to take the first frame, before Crucible finalist Trump fired in 68, 65 and 65 to go 3-1 up. Back-to-back centuries, 118 and 132, saw O’Sullivan back to 3-3 but Bristol’s Trump took the deciding frame with runs of 44 and 41, aided by a fluke on match-ball.

It’s World No 7 Trump’s second PTC title this season and he is rewarded with 10,000 Euros and 2,000 ranking points. Trump, O’Sullivan and Neil Robertson have dominated the PTC series so far, winning two apiece of the nine events.

“It was a really special match because the atmosphere was like the World Championship final, ” said 22-year-old Trump. “Ronnie always gets more support so to deliver a performance like that against him gives me a boost. He makes big breaks and puts you under it. Even at 3-1 up I was just hoping for a chance to win it.

“This season has been pretty good so far, I’ve been more than happy with the way I’ve played. I lost my first match in the two main ranking events but I’ve done well in the PTC events and I’m really looking forward to the UK Championship and the Masters now because those are the big ones.”

As for the success of the tournament in Belgium, Trump added: “I definitely think we could have a full ranking event here. The fans have been great and the players would be more than happy to come back.”

The PTC is a series of 12 short events, with the top 24 on the final Order of Merit going through to the Grand Final in March, providing they have played in at least three domestic events and three overseas. The next tournament is PTC10 in Sheffield from November 27-30.

Results (last 16 onwards)

Last 16
Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-2 Stephen Lee
Neil Robertson 4-1 Michael White
David Morris 0-4 Jack Lisowski
Graeme Dott 4-2 Alan McManus
Judd Trump 4-0 Tom Ford
Mike Dunn 0-4 John Higgins
Aditya Mehta 4-3 Matthew Stevens
Martin Gould 4-3 Andy Hicks

Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-1 Neil Robertson
Jack Lisowski 2-4 Graeme Dott
Judd Trump 4-2 John Higgins
Aditya Mehta 1-4 Martin Gould

Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-1 Graeme Dott
Judd Trump 4-1 Martin Gould

Ronnie O’Sullivan 3-4 Judd Trump