German Masters 2011: Williams Storms to First Session Lead

At times today it felt like 2003…

Mark Williams has been in impressive form this week but today he raised the bar even further, breaks of 108 and 106 helping him to a 5-3 lead against Mark Selby following the first session. That said though, Mark did not play badly himself and remains in contention if Williams lets his standard drop…

As the players and referee Jan Verhaas were introduced to a capacity crowd in Berlin, expectations were high and from the start they were delivered upon as Mark Selby took the opening frame in less than ten minutes with a sizeable break. No sooner had he done so though than Williams had turned it around, 56 and then 108 from the Welshman putting him into the lead before Selby took the next to send them into the interval all-square.

The next two frames were again shared before frame seven saw the first momentum switch of the final to date as having made 38, Selby then lost position on the pink, missing a long blue and seeing Williams step up to steal the frame. The Welshman then added his second century break of the match in frame eight to move two clear for the first time and put himself in pole position heading into tonight’s final.

Overall it was a fabulous session of snooker and one that sets things up nicely for tonight. Both players I think will be quite happy, Williams to have a lead and Selby to still be relatively close given how Williams played at times. The Jester has come back from bigger deficits than that before and if Williams does start to miss a few of those long balls, he is looking good enough to take advantage.

The action resumes at 7pm GMT.