O’Sullivan labelled GOAT by Williams despite Masters loss to Welshman

Ronnie O'Sullivan explains why he made a 146 in 2016

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Ronnie O’Sullivan has been labelled snooker’s ‘greatest ever player’ by Mark Williams, despite losing to the Welshman at the Masters on Thursday. Williams and O’Sullivan played out a classic at the Alexander Palace, with the match requiring a deciding frame after they were level at 5-5 after 10.

And it was Williams who prevailed as he played out a remarkable century break just at the right time to win the decider and take the clash 6-5. The winning frame completed an impressive comeback for the Welshman, after initially finding himself three frames down.

O’Sullivan’s quick start initially seemed all too much for Williams, and post-match the 47-year-old admitted the world No. 1 had him ‘tied up in knots’. He told BBC Sport: “The first three frames, I didn’t have a shot. He was tying me up in the knots. He was making breaks galore.”

The tide began to change though, and with the help of the Alexander Palace crowd Williams won six of the last eight frames. The win was a special one for the Welshman, especially after defeating arguably snooker’s greatest ever player.

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Addressing this, he went on: “I felt the crowd were starting to sway towards me at the end and most were wanting me to win which is unbelievable! You’re playing the greatest ever player ever aren’t you. 

“As you keep saying, I haven’t beat him for 20 years in the UK or something! That’s gone now. If I don’t beat him for another 20 years, I couldn’t give a …” O’Sullivan however was less complimentary of his own game.

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He said: “I just didn’t score, didn’t make any breaks and my cue ball wasn’t great. I hung in there, the battling qualities forced a decider. He played better snooker and was more clinical. 

“I was happy to get it to five and, when you are not playing well, those blacks can be missed.” Williams now moves to the semi-final of the event where he will take on either Hossein Vafei or Jack Lisowski.

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