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Williams shows class as he ends Dunn jinx to seal spot in last four

 

By Ross Lawson

Mark Williams was relieved to finally end his Mike Dunn hoodoo to move one step closer to his first ranking title in more than six years.

The Cwm cueman was already a heavy favourite to lift the Alex Higgins Trophy at this week's Dafabet Northern Ireland Open with the field decimated, even before taking to the table for his quarter-final.

But Williams shrugged off expectation to see off world No.48 Dunn with a clinical 5-1 performance in Belfast to take his place in the last four after waiting five hours for the previous game to finish.

"I'm glad to have that one off my back, I can't go through my whole career not beating someone like Mike Dunn, it would have killed me," said the double world champion.

"It was a long wait, I asked two or three times why they couldn't put us on the other table, it was sitting free and I even had some of the crowd asking me.

"It makes no difference to me whether I'm on the TV table or not, it's a nightmare waiting around and I was there for a long time.

"There have been a couple of times where the draw has opened up so I don't look it as being the favourite, if I am then it's the first time for a long time."

Williams faces Elliot Slessor for a place in the final - a man who had considered giving the sport up and returning to working in a casino before the season started.

But the gamble to remain certainly paid off, though he did require more than five hours to get past Li Yuan in a nine-frame epic.

•Watch the Northern Ireland Open LIVE on Eurosport, Eurosport Player and Quest with Colin Murray and daily studio analysis with Neal Foulds

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