Mark Williams kicks off new season in brilliant form with European Masters win

Mark Williams put in a stylish performance which rolled back the years on the opening day of the European Masters.

The three-times world champion hit three centuries and a break of 82 in a faultless 5-0 win over Ashley Hugill in the opening round of the £80,000 jackpot ranking event.

The annual ranking event is this year being played in Milton Keynes rather than in continental Europe as has been the case in recent years, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Due to Williams’ World Championship victory in 2018 now coming off his prize money in the world rankings list, the Welshman has now slipped to 10th in the world after previously being in the top 5 of the world rankings throughout most of last season.

But breaks of 121, 101 and a 138 gave Williams reason to be cheerful as he easily reached the second round of the tournament.

Mark Williams. Picture by Monique Limbos

Williams will face Peter Devlin in the next round.

Elsewhere, world number one Judd Trump beat 14-year-old Iulian Boiko 5-0 and European Masters defending champion Neil Robertson fought back from behind to beat Sunny Akani 5-3.

And there was a late shock with Martin Gould beating four times world champion John Higgins 5-4 in the opening round.

The tournament takes place between September 21 and September 27.

On Tuesday snooker fans will get to see Ronnie O’Sullivan in action for the first time since winning his sixth World Championship title last month. The Rocket faces Welshman Daniel Wells.

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