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 WORLD SNOOKER - Mark Williams
Picture Williams - two-time winner.

Mark Williams

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World ranking: 8
Provisional ranking: 10
Date of birth: 21.03.75
World Championship best: Winner - 2000, 2003

Last year saw a resurgence of sorts from Mark Williams after it looked like he would fall out of the top 16 in the rankings.

However, this season has been another disappointment for the Welshman.

After having to pull out of the Grand Prix in Aberdeen after three matches due to a wrist injury, Williams returned to action for the UK Championship but went out in the third round after a 9-6 loss against Stephen Hendry.

The 32-year-old followed that up with first-round exits to Neil Robertson in the SAGA Insurance Masters and to Fergal O'Brien in the Malta Cup.

He fared slightly better at the Welsh Open, reaching the second round, but then fell at the first hurdle while defending his China Open crown in Beijing.

World Champion in 2000 and 2003, Williams is one of only five players to have made a maximum break at the Crucible in 2004 and was awarded an MBE in the Queen's birthday honours in the same year.

He split with his coach Terry Griffiths last year but it does not appear to have made much difference to his game although he reached the quarter-finals of last year's event only to suffer an agonising 12-11 loss to Ronnie O'Sullivan.

Now 32, it is hard to imagine the left-hander winning the event for a third time but if he can sort out his often slack positional play to complement his superb break-building ability, he could well be a threat.

Prediction: Second round.

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