Three-time Betfred World Snooker Championship winner Mark Williams believes he has a realistic chance of claiming a fourth title at The Crucible.
The 47-year-old Welsh left-hander (8/1 – tournament outright) was ruthless in despatching compatriot Jackson Page in round two, knocking in six century breaks in an utterly dominant 13-3 victory.
And Williams is clearly feeling good about his game, having won the British Open earlier this season and also reached the final of the Shoot Out in mid-January.
The 2000, 2003 and 2018 champion told World Snooker: “I don’t think I can play any better than that at my age.
“Us older players have got to adapt our games in order to keep up with the younger ones. I know I’m going to fall down the rankings eventually, so I’m doing all I can to ensure I can stay up the top for as long as possible.
“I knew coming here that I got a chance at the title, because I’ve played well for most of the season.”
Awaiting Williams in the last eight will be the winner of the clash between reigning champion Mark Selby (9/1 – tournament outright) and Yan Bingtao.
The pair could not be separated in the first session of their second-round match and they will resume at 10am on Saturday locked at 4-4.
The second match to resume on Saturday morning is a lot less even, with Stephen Maguire two frames away from victory as he holds an 11-5 lead over Chinese rising star Zhao Xintong.
Ronnie O’Sullivan (5/2 – tournament outright) needs to win only one more frame when he resumes against Mark Allen in the afternoon, with the Rocket 12-4 up and on the verge of securing a place in the quarter-finals, where he will face either Maguire or Zhao.
Also in the afternoon, Judd Trump gets under way against Anthony McGill (Match betting – Trump 1/4, McGill 3/1), while in the evening Selby and Yan play to a finish and the much-fancied Neil Robertson (7/2 – tournament outright) starts up against fellow left-hander Jack Lisowski.