Williams ponders Masters future after defeat

Mark Williams is a two-time winner of the Masters

Mark Williams says that he is at a ‘crossroads’ in his career after he was eliminated at the first hurdle of the Masters, losing 6-2 to Stuart Bingham. 

The world number two came into the Alexandra Palace a two-time winner, but was lacking in form after a second round defeat at December’s UK Championship - a result he labelled the worst of his career. 

And though he was improved in the early stages in north London, the two-time Masters winner lost four frames on the bounce after the mid-session interval to leave him wondering whether he will return to feature under the Ally Pally lights. 

“It wasn’t great, I missed quite a lot of easy balls,” he said. 

“A crossroads is probably a good phrase.

“You want to practice, otherwise you end up playing like that, I deserved to lose. He was much the better player; he played quite well. 

“He had some rubs here and there; I could have made it 3-3, but went into the pack and couldn’t get on anything, but they don’t call him Ball-run for nothing. 

“I was just poor. How the hell I’m number two in the world I don’t know, if you’ve seen the UK and this. This wasn’t as bad as the UK, but it wasn’t great. 

“It does motivate me, but I’m not getting any younger, I don’t know how many times I’m going to come back here. 

“If I’ll come back I don’t know, but it’s just one of those things I’ve got to have a think about.”

Still struggling with his dedication to putting in the hours on the practice table, Williams nonetheless looked assured in the opening frames, taking a 2-1 lead thanks to some eye-catching shot-making, before Bingham levelled at the mid-session interval. 

But it was a completely different story after the break, as Bingham cleaned up, making the most of a few moments of luck as Williams faded from the contest. 

“He played well after the interval, he had a lot of one-frame visits,” the 44-year-old continued. 

“I had a couple of chances and didn’t make the most of them, was unlucky not to go 3-3. 

“The frame after he was lucky to snooker me and I hit it and left it on the hole, but that’s the way it goes - someone has a run and someone doesn’t.”

Watch the London Masters LIVE on Eurosport and Eurosport Player with analysis from Ronnie O'Sullivan, Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.