x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Williams shows his mettle to send Carter crashing out

Despite suffering whiplash injuries to his neck in a minor car crash the previous day, he showed courage to complete a 6-3 victory and reach the quarter-finals.

LONDON // Despite suffering whiplash injuries to his neck in a minor car crash the previous day, Mark Williams showed courage to complete a 6-3 victory over England's Ali Carter and reach the quarter-finals of the Pokerstars.com Masters at Wembley Arena. Williams took the opening frame with a quality break of 98. Carter, who reached the quarter-finals last year before losing to the eventual champion, Ronnie O'Sullivan, bounced back to take the next two, but from there on the Welshman, who won the Masters in 1998 and 2003, dominated winning five of the remaining six frames. It represented a return to form for the 34-year-old and a first quarter-final appearance at Wembley since 2006. He now faces Shaun Murphy tonight.

"I surprised myself, I didn't expect that and felt good out there. I couldn't rush any shots because of the pain. That was probably some of the best stuff I have played for sometime," said Williams. "I'll try to get a massage before facing Shaun and hopefully the neck should feel a lot better. The pain was bearable, but it got worse when the tension started to build." The defending champion Ronnie O'Sullivan came out on top against Neil Robertson, winning 6-4 in an outstanding contest which featured four centuries and five more breaks over 50.

The Australian Robertson looked in control when he took the first three frames, but O'Sullivan stormed back to win six of the next seven to boost his chances of a fifth Wembley title. "I'd give my long potting just two out of 10 so it's hard to get excited," said O'Sullivan. "To make two or three centuries in a match is not a big deal as that's how the modern game is. I'm not the player I was when I was 15 or 16.

"A lot of the time I'm playing sub-standard shots. Now and then I catch hold of one and play a killer shot. The only time I play a pure shot is left handed. The last time I played a good tournament was the [2003] European Open in Torquay and the Irish Masters a couple of weeks later. "I don't want to have to rely on the occasion of being 3-0 down in front of a big crowd to salvage some pride and give myself a kick up the backside. I can't pot a ball in practice. My attitude will be the same in my next match [against Peter Ebdon] I won't be surprised if I win or lose."

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