Luca Brecel Claims Beating Mark Williams as “Best Feeling of My Career”
Belgium’s Luca Brecel produced a scintillating performance to reach the quarter-finals of the Cazoo World Championship, beating three-time champion Mark Williams 13-11. Brecel, widely regarded as snooker’s best-ever player from continental Europe, had never won a match at the Crucible before this week. However, he showed his quality on the biggest stage, recording four centuries and eight more breaks over 50, while averaging just 18.8 seconds per shot across the contest.
After a closely contested first session, Brecel took a two-frame lead going into the final session. Williams fought back to level at 11-11, but the 28-year-old Belgian responded with a brace of marvellous breaks in the last two frames to seal a memorable victory. Brecel will now face either Ronnie O’Sullivan or Hossein Vafaei in the quarter-finals, with the winner earning a place in the one-table situation for the semi-finals.
Speaking after the match, Brecel said, “It’s the best feeling of my career. It’s fantastic to beat someone like Mark over 25 frames because he is such a legend; it’s so difficult to do. I had to play well and stay focussed for the whole game. At 11-11 he was playing better, and I was struggling. So, I didn’t expect to make two great breaks to win the game.”
Meanwhile, Williams praised Brecel, stating, “He played some unbelievable stuff. I put the pressure on him at 11-11 and was feeling strong. But he made two breaks the last two frames; it’s as good as I’ve seen. He was popping balls from everywhere and thoroughly deserved the win. I just hope he can continue that form if he plays O’Sullivan and do himself justice because he’ll be hard to stop.”
In another match, debutant Jak Jones is on course for a shock win over 2010 champion Neil Robertson, going into their concluding session on Saturday afternoon. Jones, ranked world number 52, scored a superb 10-6 win over Ali Carter in the opening round on his Crucible debut, and the Welshman now finds himself within three frames of a quarter-final spot. Robertson made history with two 146 breaks in his 10-3 opening round win over Wu Yize, but he has so far failed to carry that form into this second-round tie.