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Monday, 1 May, 2000, 09:34 GMT 10:34 UK
Williams feels the strain
williams
Mark Williams started badly on Sunday
Mark Williams has admitted feeling drained, after ending the opening day of the Embassy World Championship final against Matthew Stevens 10-6 behind.

Williams had been made tournament favourite before the first all-Welsh world final in the 73-year history of the championship, but he quickly found himself trailing.



To be honest I feel drained, out of my head, and I'll have to try and stick in there the best I can.

Mark Williams
Stevens now needs to win just eight of the remaining 19 frames to become the second youngest winner of the competition, at 22, behind Stephen Hendry - whose first title came when he was aged 21 years and three months.

Stevens came out on top in a tactical battle, as Williams tried to force the pace and appeared to lack patience.

Williams said: "Matthew won a few games on the trot and now I've just got to try and stick in there.


stevens
Matthew Stevens won six frames on the trot
"To be honest I feel drained, out of my head, and I'll have to try and stick in there the best I can.

"I don't know if what happened was down to events on Saturday against John Higgins - but if I still feel the same on Sunday I won't have much chance."

Stevens said: "It's pleasing to be 10-6 in front. I didn't set myself a target before the match.

"I am just taking things one frame at a time - and that will be the game plan on Sunday.



I will try and go for my shots, but it doesn't feel strange playing each other because we've met a lot of times in the past.

Matthew Stevens
Stevens won all four frames before the mid-session interval and in frame 12 his break of 111 gave him the distinction of registering the 50th century in this year's championship.

After the break Stevens came out and promptly chalked up number 51 via a 114 clearance which gave him his sixth frame on the trot.

Williams ended that run with a 59 break to take frame 14, but Stevens run of 73 then eased him 10-5 ahead.

The last frame of the session was vital and at least Williams gave himself some hope with a 63 break, but he will have to pull out all the stops on Sunday to avoid being a beaten finalist for the second year running.

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See also:

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World Snooker final latest
29 Apr 00 | Sport
Stevens reaches Crucible final
Links to other Sport stories are at the foot of the page.