Mark Williams dazzles at World Championship to set up tie against ‘fourth son’ Jackson Page

·2-min read
Mark Williams dazzles at World Championship to set up tie against ‘fourth son’ Jackson Page

Mark Williams is ready for a bragging rights battle against ‘fourth son’ Jackson Page after cruising through the first round of the World Championship.

Three-time champion Williams was at his imperious best to swat aside Welsh amateur Michael White 10-3 at the Crucible.

Williams, 47, made four quick-fire centuries plus further breaks of 90, 71 and 50 in a near-flawless start to his tilt at the world title.

“I started off really well to put him under pressure and didn’t really ease up on him," Williams said.

“I got a massive lead and winning 10-3 against someone with Michael’s calibre is not really heard of so I’ll take it.

“I never gave him a chance to settle and I just played well all through the match.”

Williams took an ominous 7-2 overnight lead and wrapped up the final three frames with minimal fuss against qualifier White on Monday afternoon.

The Welsh legend faces another countryman in 20-year-old Page in a fascinating last 16 match-up starting on Thursday.

Page knocked out world number nine Barry Hawkins in a dream Crucible debut on Easter Sunday, firing big back-to-back century breaks of 132 and 135 to finish in style.

And his second-round match has a unique subplot given the close relationship between Williams and the youngster.

Williams has long been a mentor for Page but his strong bond with the rising star reaches way beyond the snooker table.

He said: “It’s going to be tough. He’s not just a friend but he’s more like a fourth son really.

“He comes to the house and plays cards with my other three boys and does everything with us. He’s like the fourth son I never had.”

But Williams is not about to take his foot off the pedal as he bids for a fourth Crucible crown.

He will relish the big occasion against his own snooker apprentice in Sheffield.

“It’s a difficult one for me but I’m going to try my best to win and I want to destroy him," he added.

“I saw him make two centuries in about 15-20 minutes last night and you can’t really be under any more pressure than that.

“I know he can do it. I’ve been telling you for years and he proved me right last night.”

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