• The Masters

Williams hoodoo continues for Stevens

ESPN staff
January 16, 2013
Mark Williams is into the last eight © PA Photos

Mark Williams is into the quarter-finals of The Masters following a hard-fought opening victory over Matthew Stevens.

Williams, the two-time world champion, was behind against his fellow Welshman for much of the contest - but pulled away when he needed to secure an eventual 6-4 success.

The result means Stevens has still not beaten Williams since the British Open in 2003.

That surprising streak looked set to be ended on Wednesday at Alexandra Palace, especially after Stevens raced into an early 3-0 lead - before a shocking missed brown in the fourth frame gave Williams a way back into the contest.

However, a 67 break in the next got Stevens back on on track - before a scratchy sixth stanza, that ultimately fell in Williams' favour, ultimately changed the course of the contest.

A 59 in the next frame reduced the scoreline to 4-3, before a clearance after Stevens broke down on 48 restored parity.

Another unwelcome miss - this time on a makeable red - from Stevens paved the way for Williams to move within a frame of the last eight with a 68 break, and he duly converted that opportunity in the next frame thanks to two productive trips to the table.

Williams will now face Mark Selby in the quarter-finals, after the world No. 1 produced an even more remarkable comeback to beat Stuart Bingham.

Selby found himself 5-1 down after a shocking opening to his match, but held his nerve and rode his luck to eventually come away with a scarcely-believable 6-5 triumph.

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