Mark Williams with the 2023 British Open trophy

Mark Williams: ‘Maybe I’m a better player than I think’, says British Open winner

Mark Williams with the 2023 British Open trophyMark Williams first won the British Open in 1997, 26 years before his latest success in Cheltenham

Mark Williams says maybe he should give himself more credit after winning a 25th ranking title.

Three-time world champion Williams beat Mark Selby 10-7 to win the British Open on Sunday, his first trophy since winning the same tournament in 2021.

However, the 48-year-old Welshman does not know how much longer he can continue to compete at the highest level.

“I’m going to keep going until I can’t play any more,” said Williams.

“How long I can keep going at this level, I don’t know.

“I’ve always wanted to see where I am going to be at 50. I’m only 49 in six months’ time, so I’m not far away and I’ve just won a tournament.

“So who knows, let’s just enjoy the ride while I’m still going.”

Williams’ first British Open title came in 1997 and he has also won two UK Championships, as well as his three world titles and tournaments around the globe in a 31-year professional career.

“I was more than happy with 24 ranking titles,” said Williams.

“If you want me to be truthful, I didn’t think I was going to get off it. [Now] I’m on 25 and that is an unbelievable feeling.

“Maybe I’m a bit too harsh on myself. Maybe I do deserve to pat myself on the back a bit.

“Off the back of this maybe I’m a bit better than I give myself credit for as a snooker player.

“I never really give myself that much credit but maybe after winning this, maybe I am pretty good.”

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Williams opened up a three-frame lead in the first session and led throughout, but had to hold his nerve after Selby, 40, set up a thrilling finish by reducing his deficit to 8-7.

“I don’t think many people gave me much of a chance beating him first to 10 over two sessions to be honest,” Williams said.

“I think all day I competed with him and probably outplayed him in the safety department to be honest with you. That is really good for me because he is the best in the world at it.

“Just to compete with him, over two sessions and first to 10 in a big tournament, is unbelievable for me. That has to be up there with my best wins ever.”

At 48, Williams is the second-oldest winner of a snooker ranking title in history. Only Ray Reardon, the 1982 Professional Players Tournament champion at the age of 50, was older.

To take that record from his fellow Welshman would be yet another mark of greatness in a remarkable career, but when asked if he could surpass Reardon, Williams was typically modest.

“I don’t know,” he replied. “All I can say is I’ll try.”