Thanks for your company
We'll be back with you from 1.00pm tomorrow for all the action from the Welsh Open semi-finals. Take care out there until then, night all.
'I will enjoy the challenge' – Williams set to test skills on pool table
Here's how we line up tomorrow:
1.00pm Stephen Maguire vs. Jordan Brown
7.00pm Ronnie O'Sullivan vs. Mark Williams
Mark Williams is through to the semi-finals
He was so close to being pegged back, but after losing leads of 3-0 and 4-2 Mark Williams found the composure to clear up in the final frame decider and secure his place in the last four. It was a valiant effort from Tom Ford, who dug in brilliantly to make a match of it, but ultimately Williams managed to punish more of his errors than vice versa. It's a home tournament for Williams, who is looking to win this title for the third time and in the week of the sad passing of Welsh snooker legend Doug Mountjoy. His opponent tomorrow evening will be his Class of 92 alumni Ronnie O'Sullivan in what promises to be an enthralling semi-final.
Williams 5-4 Ford
The black follows, so does a long yellow, and Ford concedes the frame and match.
Williams 4-4 Ford (63-35)
Williams gets the mop out and, calmly as you like, clears up the remaining reds to leave Ford needing a snooker and he's not done yet either.
Williams 4-4 Ford (25-35)
Williams' lead is wiped out double quick, and in splitting the remaining pack off the blue Ford is left with an awkward cut on a red to bottom right...and in it goes to take him up to the yellow. He makes a hash of yellow to next red though, trapping himself behind the pink, and he has to play safe instead. A reprieve for Williams this time, and Ford has left him a red to right middle. Williams drops it in, and this is a huge chance.
Williams 4-4 Ford (24-0)
A horrible miscue from Williams isn't punished when Ford rattles the ensuing mid-range red out of the jaws of the bottom right. Ford then catches a safety far too thick, and he's served up an easy starter for Williams. It's three reds with blacks so far, and a split on the pack has worked out just about ok as he's on a red to the bottom right. Williams has to cue high over another red though...and he's left it in the jaws again! What a chance for Ford now.
Williams 4-4 Ford
He's the comeback kid! The second to last red goes, followed by the pink, and we're going to a decider!
Williams 4-3 Ford (19-37)
Ford takes his break to 37 with a brilliant cut on a red that splits the remaining bunch, but then misses the blue to follow. It should be his last shot of the tournament, until Williams has an absolute shocker and misses a simple, three foot shot on a red and leaves it in the jaws of the bottom right. That is a staggering miss, and a huge reprieve for Ford!
Williams 4-3 Ford (19-12)
A safety from Ford leaves a red in the jaws of the bottom left but with Williams snookered. Mark misses it with a swerve shot, and then again after being put back in after the white had drifted in behind the green. Ford's on it now, and he's got a big chance to take this to a one frame shoot out.
Williams 4-3 Ford (19-0)
Williams gets a chance at the start of the eighth, clipping in a thin red to the bottom left to go in and out of baulk and land on the brown. Just as it looks like it might be a match-winning chance, and badly judged canon on a red sends the white into the cluster and Williams is on nothing.
Williams 4-3 Ford
A 39 from Ford leaves Williams needing a snooker. He can't find one, and Williams concedes the frame after another booming long red from Ford.
Williams 4-2 Ford (11-55)
After thumping in a sole long red, Ford crafts another chance for himself a few shots later with a thin cut on a red to the right middle. A pink takes his break to 29 and his score to over 50 for the frame; he's couple of reds and colours away from cutting his deficit in half here.
Williams 4-2 Ford (11-25)
Ford breaks the deadlock by clubbing a long red into the bottom left to develop the first real chance of the frame. It's an awkward table though and he does well to make 18 before playing safe. Williams manages a red and a yellow, but no more. The remaining 10 reds are all bunched below the pink, as the frame time approaches 20 minutes.
Williams 4-2 Ford (8-7)
We're bogged down in safety at the start of the seventh, with nothing down yet and both players trading fouls. After the second of those, where Williams clipped the black and then scattered reds, it took a good while for the officials to reset the balls after Ford asked for them to be put back. What larks! Ford eventually gets the first red down, but goes in-off from it; there's nothing on for Williams though, and this one's a mess so far.
Williams 4-2 Ford
Only 86 for Williams as he misses the final red high on the knuckle of the left middle.
Williams 3-2 Ford (69-0)
A 59 from Williams, secured with a deadweight black into the bottom right, leaves Ford needing snookers. There's a ton on here if he's in the mood to sort it out.
Williams 3-2 Ford (54-0)
Williams' break goes to 44 and he's over 50 for the frame. He's not been rattled by Ford's comeback here, and a few more reds and colours will put him one frame away from the semi-finals.
Williams 3-2 Ford (17-0)
Ford catches the knuckle of the right middle with a safety at the start of the sixth, leaving Williams a mid-range red into the bottom left to get going. Mark can only make 10 initially, but gets back in with a nice, floated long red into the yellow pocket to roll up the table and land straight on the blue.
Williams 3-2 Ford
A 92 from Ford reduces Williams' lead to just one frame.
Williams 3-1 Ford (0-69)
Frame ball red goes down, and Ford is right back in this. He's such a dangerous player as he's so comfortable when he's in the balls, and can rattle together enough to win a frame in one hit very quickly. Williams has really got a game on now.
Williams 3-1 Ford (0-53)
Ford makes his second half-century of the night, and he's zoning in on making this a very different contest to the one we had half an hour ago.
Williams 3-1 Ford (0-15)
We're back, and Ford's in again after Williams misses a red to the bottom right by a mile, clattering another red on the way and leaving an easy starter. Ford soon picks out a three-ball plant and lands on the pink, and he's created a nice chance for himself in the fifth.
Williams 3-1 Ford
Just like that, Ford's in the match! He cuts it the brown to the yellow pocket, followed by a superb blue into the same bag and then the pink straight after it too. That's a superb response from him, and he's just two behind at the interval.
Williams 3-0 Ford (51-59)
It's all happening here! Williams misses a thin connection on the brown to give four away, then miscues at his second attempt, gets a double kiss and flukes a snooker behind the black. Crikey.
Williams 3-0 Ford (51-51)
Ford picks up four from a snooker before potting the yellow and then a brilliant green into the bottom right. Fouldsy doesn't think he meant it; either way, it's in and we're all square in the frame.
Williams 3-0 Ford (51-42)
Williams immediately crunches in a long red to the bottom right. It's a chance to dish, and he soon takes out the final, difficult red down the rail into the bottom right with the rest. Just as he looks set to go up to the colours and take the frame though, he screws the white straight into the right middle after potting the black! What a reprieve for Ford.
Williams 3-0 Ford (37-35)
After losing position on the pink Williams is forced to play safe, ending his break on 36. He gets another solitary red down, but after missing a cut on another he's left a chance for Ford. This is a big visit in the context of the match, but after reducing his arrears in the frame he's overrun position on the black, and has to play safe up to the yellow.
Williams 3-0 Ford (22-10)
Williams is a very confident man right now, and a gun barrel straight red into the bottom right from distance sets him flying again here. That was wonderful cueing. Most of the reds are stacked to the right of the pink and black but they're loose if Williams can manufacture position around them.
Williams 3-0 Ford (0-10)
If we're going to have a contest after the interval then it's surely essential that Ford nicks this frame just before it. Here's his chance; Williams misses a tough long red into the bottom right, and Ford is on one to the bottom left. He can't convert it, though does collect four points after a miss from Williams. Ford eventually gets in but can only manage a red and blue before missing a red to the left middle; a chance here for Williams.
Williams 3-0 Ford
Williams empties the table of what's left for a 41 to secure the third frame.
Williams 2-0 Ford (67-26)
It is Ford that's in next, snicking a red into the bottom left followed by a nerveless brown to left middle. He adds 26, but after potting the pink he's left with a difficult cut on a red to bottom right and he's left it in the jaws.
Williams 2-0 Ford (67-0)
On 67 Williams takes on a difficult cut on a red up into the left middle, and he's missed it. There's still 75 left on here, with a nice spread of reds if Ford can get in next.
Williams 2-0 Ford (61-0)
It's a half-century already for Williams, who is making light work of this so far. He splits the reds on 61 and just about lands on a red to the left middle; it's all going his way here.
Williams 2-0 Ford (25-0)
He's in again. Williams drops in a red across the table and into the bottom right to force position on the black. He's hampered by other reds, but elevates the rest to the angle he needs to slice in a lovely cut on the black and retain position. This is very impressive from him so far.
Williams 2-0 Ford
Williams clears up to the pink, and he's two frames in front.
Williams 1-0 Ford (53-62)
After four misses and 18 points given away in fouls, Ford finally escapes and knocks the yellow safe as he does so. Not only that, but at his next visit Williams leaves him a look at a long yellow into the green pocket, and that flies in! He's on the green too...but he's missed it! Oh my, the frame was at his mercy there and he's served it up to Williams.
Williams 1-0 Ford (35-60)
What an effort this is from Williams, clearing up the reds inclusive of a brilliant deep screw to drive the blue to land on a red on the bottom rail. After making 35 he then tucks Ford right in behind the black and twelve feet away from the yellow. It's a vicious snooker as the brown is so close to the yellow that it's making a one cushion escape impossible.
Williams 1-0 Ford (0-60)
Ford's taken these well, keeping the cue ball on the leash to jab his way to a half-century. The white isn't being made to work too much here at all. Just as he's zoning in on winning the frame though he overcuts a simple red to the bottom left and Williams is in.
Williams 1-0 Ford (0-13)
It's the now familiar defensive break from Williams, off the bottom cushion with swerve and into the back of the pack. Ford looks distinctly unimpressed with that and plays the white dismissively off the pack and on to the side cushion. It's perfectly legal - and even understandable, given the standard of long potting after the break these days - but not great on the eye. 'Perhaps it should be outlawed,' says Fouldsy in co-comms. Ford will feel better now though, rattling in a stunning long red to get in amongst it.
Williams 1-0 Ford
Williams gets the next red down, and Ford's seen enough; frame one to Mark J.
Williams 0-0 Ford (70-16)
It's a half ton for Williams, who has taken these very smoothly indeed. The pink takes him to 70 with three reds remaining, one of which he misses into the green pocket. Ford needs one snooker, and will carry on.
Williams 0-0 Ford (20-16)
Williams misses his first two attempts at long reds. From the second he leaves Ford in, who can only make 16 before missing a routine red to bring Williams back to the table. Mark soon moves into the lead and he's split the pack nicely to boot.
The players are out, and we're off. Best of nine for the right to play Ronnie O'Sullivan in the semi-finals tomorrow.
Mark Williams was just 20-years old when he first won this tournament in 1996 to claim his maiden ranking event title. He won it again in 1999 but hasn’t triumphed at his home tournament since then. Tom Ford needs to keep progressing here to qualify for the Players Championship next week and is in decent form after reaching the semi-finals of the German Masters a few weeks back.
News from this afternoon
Ali Carter had to pull out of his quarter-final against Ronnie O'Sullivan today due to health concerns. Our very best wishes to Ali for a speedy recovery.
Stephen Maguire won his quarter-final with a brilliant 133 in the deciding frame against Shaun Murphy. Tomorrow he'll face Jordan Brown, who won his own final frame decider in extraordinary circumstances against Mark Selby.
Welcome to live coverage of the last quarter-final of the 2021 Welsh Open. The two-time former champion Mark Williams will face Tom Ford just after 7pm.
That's us for the afternoon
We'll return at 6.45pm for live coverage of Mark Williams versus Tom Ford. Thanks for your company this afternoon, bye for now.
Stephen Maguire is through to the semi-finals
An excellent performance from the 2013 Welsh Open champion earned him a place in the last four on Saturday. Shaun Murphy contributed to an absorbing match too, but Maguire's heavy scoring ultimately made the difference. Breaks of 105, 84, 90, and 133 were just too much for Murphy, who got within a frame of victory but was blown off the table thereafter. Maguire will now face the winner of Mark Selby and Jordan Brown in the semi-finals.
Murphy 4-5 Maguire
Maguire got his chance and took it; a fantastic total clearance of 133 wins him frame and match.
Murphy 4-4 Maguire (0-73)
A black takes the break to 72, with 67 remaining. Another red goes too, and Maguire has secured victory in a match of very high quality.
Murphy 4-4 Maguire (0-56)
Maguire just about gets away with a nervous pot on the black that necessitates a delicate cut on a red to bottom right with the rest. Another half ton is in the bank now, and he's inching closer...
Murphy 4-4 Maguire (0-40)
This break requires very precise position but Maguire keeps it rolling, and a pink to the right middle moves him on to 40. As it goes in he screws into the top of the remaining pack and he's developed more reds into potable positions. This is now a big chance to win this in one hit.
Murphy 4-4 Maguire (0-11)
Maguire's break leaves Murphy tight to the top cushion. Murphy has a yahoo at a long red into the bottom left, but misses by a distance and he's left Maguire a mid-ranger into the same pocket. In it goes, and he comes back down the table off the yellow to land perfectly on a red above the black. It's early, but it's a chance.
Over on the other table, Jordan Brown now leads Mark Selby 4-3.
More on O'Sullivan-Carter
Check out our story for all the details on this story.
Murphy 4-4 Maguire
A break of 90 for Maguire takes us to a decider.
Murphy 4-3 Maguire (0-61)
They look simple enough, but it’s one slip and you’re out territory for Maguire so he’s operating with great care here. A yellow brings up his half-century, and there’s only 75 left out there so he’s not far away now.
Murphy 4-3 Maguire (0-28)
After a safety battle, Maguire clips in a thin red and lands nicely on the black. The reds are spread invitingly here, and the black is on to both corners. What a chance to take this to a decider.
Murphy 4-3 Maguire (0-11)
Both Maguire and Murphy miss long reds to the bottom left at the start of the eighth frame. Murphy's miss sits a red up over the left middle, and it's a good early look for Maguire in this one. He only makes eleven from it though before losing position on the reds and playing safe.
On the other table it's now 3-3 between Mark Selby and Jordan Brown.
Murphy 4-3 Maguire
Murphy pots the brown, blue and pink to make certain, and is now one frame away from the semi-finals.
Murphy 3-3 Maguire (61-37)
Murphy can only land straight on a yellow along the rail, and drops it in deadweight before playing a snooker. Maguire is still in this frame, but in escaping from the snooker he leaves the green on to its own pocket and Murphy crashes it in. That was frame ball, Maguire now requires a snooker.
Murphy 3-3 Maguire (39-37)
Maguire's break stalls on 37, and Murphy is in with a load to go at. He takes the lead with a pink to the left middle, disturbing the final two reds on the bottom cushion as he does so. What a chance he has now to regain the lead.
We've just heard that Ali Carter has withdrawn from the tournament due to health concerns. Our very best wishes go to Ali for a quick recovery. Ronnie O'Sullivan will receive a bye to the semi-finals.
Murphy 3-3 Maguire (0-30)
Murphy misses a tough long red at the start of the seventh, and he's left one on to the left middle for Maguire. It's a good chance, and he's up to 30 already here.
Murphy 3-3 Maguire
A break of 81 in total for Murphy levels the scores.
Murphy 2-3 Maguire (0-72)
A blue to the right middle takes Murphy to 72, and that's enough for the frame. Tit for tat so far from these two, and we're now into a best of three for a place in the semi-finals.
Murphy 2-3 Maguire (0-23)
Murphy fires straight back in the sixth, thumping in a long red to the bottom right to come back up for the blue. He's away, and up to 23 and counting already.
On the other table, Selby has won the fifth on a re-spotted black and Brown's lead is cut to 3-2.
Murphy 2-3 Maguire
That should do it; a thundering long red into the bottom left by Maguire lands him perfectly on the black. He's soon past the winning post, and a break of 30 sorts the fifth frame in his favour.
Murphy 2-2 Maguire (29-56)
It's 29 in reply for Murphy, before he loses position on his favoured red and misses a difficult one into the bottom left with the rest. It looks like he's got away with it initially, until Maguire pulls out a superb cut on a red to the right middle to land on the black. He adds 12, before missing a difficult red to the left middle. It was played with safety in mind though, and he's in control at the moment.
Murphy 2-2 Maguire (0-44)
Maguire's break ends on 31 when his attempt to split the pack leaves him on nothing. A long safety exchange follows, until Maguire breaks the deadlock by plugging a red into the bottom left to land on the blue. He pots that, but then misses a simple red to the green pocket and Murphy has a big chance here.
Murphy 2-2 Maguire (0-23)
Murphy hits the black when trying a deadweight escape from a snooker. He escapes on his second attempt, but leaves a red on to the bottom left for Maguire who wastes no time in taking advantage.
Murphy 2-2 Maguire
He's done it! A 40 from Murphy whips the frame from under Maguire's nose, and we're level at the interval.
In our other quarter-final, Jordan Brown leads Mark Selby 3-1.
Murphy 1-2 Maguire (39-55)
Another superb long red from Murphy gets him back in, and he then takes the last red with a delicate cut using the rest. Just the colours needed to nick the frame...
Murphy 1-2 Maguire (26-55)
In two separate visits Murphy cobbles together - inclusive of a brilliant blue to green pocket - and then accidentally pots the pink when playing off it to lay a snooker. He grimaces, and breaks the fourth wall Oliver Hardy style to glance down the camera and invite our sympathy with his predicament. Murphy plays a brilliant escape to leave Maguire nothing though, and we've still got a live one.
Murphy 1-2 Maguire (1-55)
Maguire's third half ton in three frames has put him on the brink of a two frame lead at the interval. The remaining six reds are awkward though, and he rattles one out of the jaws of the bottom right and leaves it on to the right middle for Murphy.
Murphy 1-2 Maguire (1-15)
Murphy chokes down a lone red but can't land on a colour; Maguire kabooms in a long one of his own and he's just about on the pink. He drops that into the heart of the left middle and he's away again here.
Murphy 1-2 Maguire
Maguire lands on the difficult red, but it's an awkward cut to the left middle. It's essentially frame ball, and he drops it in delicately and that will do it. A total break of 84 puts him 2-1 in front.
Murphy 1-1 Maguire (46-52)
A near perfect split on a cluster of reds beneath the pink spot has left Murphy bang in trouble here. Maguire hits the front with another half-century, and of the two reds left one up near the green spot alongside the right rail might be the only salvation for Murphy.
Murphy 1-1 Maguire (46-7)
The break ends on 46 as Murphy's split on the pack leaves him on nothing. His safety is a bit off too, leaving a red on to the bottom right, and Maguire booms it in. It's an inviting table, and he can get right back into this here.
Murphy 1-1 Maguire (22-0)
Murphy seems to have his A game with him today, as he glides a red softly into the bottom left to land on the black. One handy nudge on the pack later and he's ticking along nicely on 22, with a number of reds out in the open.
Murphy 1-1 Maguire
Rhythmic play here from Maguire as rattles in a 105 to make it all square.
Murphy 1-0 Maguire (23-51)
It's a half ton for Maguire, and all three remaining reds are wide open. It looks like we'll be level shortly.
Murphy 1-0 Maguire (23-27)
Now then, Stephen. Murphy leaves a red on to the right middle after a poor attempt at a containing safety, and in it goes. Maguire then booms in the yellow and goes into the pack off one cushion, almost sending a red into the bottom right as he does so. He's in control now though, and edges ahead in the frame.
Murphy 1-0 Maguire (23-0)
Maguire misses a long red to the bottom right, and it sits up as a short range jab to the green pocket for Murphy. Where Maguire hasn't settled, Murphy has, and he's quickly into a break of 22. In clanging in the next red though he's not on pink or black, and it's end of break.
Murphy 1-0 Maguire
A 34 from Murphy secures the first frame.
Murphy 0-0 Maguire (41-9)
It's a sloppy start from Maguire; he sticks a red up over the bottom left, and Murphy is in again. A quick 21 and counting from Murphy leaves Maguire needing snookers.
Murphy 0-0 Maguire (41-9)
Maguire gets a solitary red down, before a brilliant long red from Murphy opens up the first real scoring chance of the match. The break gets to 29 before Murphy misses a red to the left middle.
Murphy 0-0 Maguire (12-8)
Maguire gives up eight early one, missing a thin snick on a safety and later going in-off into the left middle. Maguire then goes in-off into the green pocket when potting a red, so a slightly farcical start here. Murphy's then pots red-black, but runs out of position.
Our MC Phil Seymour is introducing the players. We'll keep you updated on the current quarter-final also kicking off shortly, where Mark Selby takes on Jordan Brown.
Welcome to live coverage of the quarter-finals of the Welsh Open. It's best of nine today, with a belter first up: the defending champion Shaun Murphy takes on the 2013 winner Stephen Maguire.
'I am always good mentally' - O’Sullivan ahead of quarter-final showdown
Ronnie O’Sullivan has insisted he is totally in control of his emotions and happy with where he is mentally.
The six-time world champion assumed favouritism of the Welsh Open when Judd Trump crashed out to Hossein Vafaei, but O’Sullivan was arguably playing the best snooker of the event prior to the world number one’s shock exit. O’Sullivan dropped his first frame of the event when beating Zhou Yuelong 4-1 to reach the quarter finals.
His next opponent will be Ali Carter, a player he has had confrontations with earlier in his career. O’Sullivan is expecting a tough match whoever he plays, but will not let his emotions get the better of him.
“I am always good mentally,” O’Sullivan told Eurosport. “I might not look it sometimes, but I can dig deep. You are not going to have a 30-year career like mine and win as much as I have if you're not mentally strong.
“Sometimes I just show it. Some others hold it in better, but they are definitely going through it. I am a lot better at managing my emotions now. I know what’s going on now, whereas before I was just a bit confused and used to lose the plot.
“Now I am completely in control of it. I can see it coming and put the brakes on.”
WELSH OPEN SCHEDULE
Friday, February 19th
- Shaun Murphy v Stephen Maguire (12:00)
- Mark Selby v Jordan Brown (12:00)
- Ronnie OSullivan v Ali Carter (14:00)
- Mark Williams v Tom Ford (19:00)
Saturday, February 20th
- Murphy/Magure v Selby/Brown
- O'Sullivan/Carter v Williams/Ford
How to watch the event
The 2021 Welsh Open is live on Eurosport.
You can watch every moment on eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app. You can download the Eurosport app for iOS and Android now.
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