Two snooker stalwarts go head-to-head in a mouth-watering World Championship Quarter-Final as Ronnie O’Sullivan takes on Mark Williams.
With eight world titles and 58 ranking titles between them, the decorated duo have achieved everything the sport has to offer since turning professional as part of snooker’s infamous ‘Class of 92’.
They are living proof that snooker’s ‘old guard’ remain prevalent over the younger generation – which O’Sullivan described as “so bad” in a brutal post-match interview on Sunday.
O’Sullivan sent out an emphatic message by thrashing Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 10-1 in the fastest match in the history of the tournament, before overcoming 2016 finalist Ding Junhui 13-10 in a thrilling Last 16 contest.
The Rocket appears relaxed and focused in the absence of a crowd and the added expectation it brings, and he will be encouraged by his dominant record over the Welshman over the past 25 years.
O’Sullivan has won 30 and drawn three of their 41 previous meetings, including all four at the World Championship, with their most recent Crucible clash coming eight years ago.
Back-to-back winner in 2012 and 2013, keen runner O’Sullivan is looking to stay the distance in this snooker marathon and pick up what would be a record-breaking 37th career ranking title.
Williams, meanwhile, is looking to follow up his fairy-tale 2018 triumph with another age-defying success as the oldest World Champion since Ray Reardon.
The 45-year-old began his latest campaign with a 10-5 victory over Alan McManus and declared after the match that he intends “never to retire” from professional snooker.
He then dispatched Masters Champion Stuart Bingham 13-11 and remains as laid-back as ever both on and off the table, making him a dangerous force.
This will be the first between between the two players in three years, with Williams’ last success over ‘The Rocket’ coming back in 2014 at the International Championship in China.
Their best of 25 frame match gets underway from 2.30pm BST on Monday for a total of eight frames, resuming at 2.30pm on Tuesday before being played to a finish from 7pm that evening.
Either three-time World Champion Mark Selby or 2010 World Champion Neil Robertson will await the winner in the Semi-Finals.
Pleasure to@play in the quarter@finals v @ronnieo147 tomox, after playing him when I was 12 years of age and to think im@in the quarters against him at 45 years of age. Mad. #33yearsojamdstillplayongnagainsthim
— MARK WILLIAMS M.B.E (@markwil147) August 9, 2020