I doubt Mark Williams will get carried away by winning the Rotterdam Open but it marks a welcome return for him to snooker’s winners’ circle.

It wasn’t just winning which will give him pleasure but the manner of the victory. He played ultra attacking snooker to edge Mark Selby 4-3.

Selby often has the knack of forcing his opponents to play his way. Last night the opposite happened: the more Williams attacked, the more Selby did.

This proved to be a good tactic for the Welshman, whose potting was superb. It gives him his first title since he beat Selby 9-7 in the 2011 German Masters final.

Despite the win, Williams is placed 17th in the world rankings and so will have to qualify for the Shanghai Masters, although the new flat draw system renders his position largely irrelevant outside of the Masters and World Championship, and there is time to get back into the top 16 before them.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you write off the true greats at your peril.

Williams has seen his two great contemporaries – Ronnie O’Sullivan and John Higgins – lift silverware this year and has now got some of his own.

I pondered his very predicament last month and he already has a trophy under his belt as well as an injection of confidence so early in the season.

The players seemed to enjoy Rotterdam. These events don’t just magically happen, they are down to hard work so well done to all involved.

This includes the referee, Jan Verhaas, who was rightly honoured for two decades service by the Dutch Billiards Federation in a presentation before the final.

I understand the event will be on for at least another two years but the plan next year is to move it to a later date as the middle of July is hardly snooker time.


Ray said...

It must have given Mark a lot of confidence to win yesterday.The superb red to get in the final frame was the Mark of old. Heart of a lion or what?
The 43 year old Mickelson winning the Open yesterday should also give inspiration to all players in their late 30s / early 40s. To think he played the best round of golf in his life on a difficult links course he never thought he would win on.
Snooker "oldies" take note - it's all between the ears.

PaulG said...

Golf is a bit different in fairness.Tom Watson had a putt to win the open at aged 59.i doubt a player is gonna be in position to win a snooker major at that age.Dave whats wrong with playing a snooker event in July ?.i taught the snooker season was a year round sport now ?.

Anonymous said...

Because snooker isn't a summer sport, and if people don't turn out in sufficient numbers the organizers will lose money. That might not matter in places like China where the events are propped up by TV money, but it probably makes a huge difference to the bottom line for the euro ptcs.

Anonymous said...

Comparing the open to this tournament seriously? it's a best of 7 who cares

Anonymous said...


After a slow start to the event on Friday the final days play was really exciting and of a high standard.

At the conclusion of the final, you said in commentary the next event on EuroSport will be the Paul Hunter Classic from Fuerth.

Does that mean there is no coverage of the European Tour event at Doncaster? And if so, will that be the same for the SWSA in November?

Also, going away from the subject, I purchased several months ago the Hurricane Higgins DVD from the Snooker Scene Shop - the 1972 documentary made by Thames TV after he won his first World Championship.

I bought this originally back on VHS through Pot Black magazine in the very early 1990's along with I'm No Angel, an 80 minute or so documentary narrated by Eammon Holmes ahead of his comeback in the summer of 1992.

Do you know if there are any plans to release this on DVD? As it's clearly the best documentary on the Hurricane.


Anonymous said...

Was this the first tournament where players were in short sleeves? Williams had Selby beat on the tattoo count.

Dave H said...

Ryan - don't know of any plans for a DVD. The 2 UK PTCs aren't on Eurosport.

Anonymous said...

congratulations to mark williams.One of the true great players of all time and also so much nerve when it counts.

Anonymous said...

Mark Williams is a joy to watch when he is playing well. So many players are boring to watch these days

Anonymous said...

Come on Dave - try and link Mark Williams' victory to the birth of the royal baby!

Anonymous said...

The answers will always come out in the wash.

Anonymous said...

12.36, its only summer in half of the world

Anonymous said...

Re: 12:20pm

There were so many events before where players were in short sleeves.

Anonymous said...

Wish I had seen the final but was on holiday in Spain, which is what the players should be doing in July...