Top Class Snooker Returns To Cardiff


Top Class Snooker Returns To CardiffThe world’s best snooker players will be back at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff in February for the 2016 Welsh Open.

The world ranking event was staged in the Welsh capital last year with 128 players competing for the trophy, giving fans the chance to watch many of their heroes in action, including Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump, John Higgins, Jimmy White and home favourites Mark Williams, Matthew Stevens and Michael White. Higgins won the title, beating Ben Woollaston 9-3 in the final.

The BBC Wales-televised tournament returns to the same venue and will run 15-21 February, with tickets now on sale.

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Two-time World Champion Williams, from Cwm, got to the semi-finals last season before a narrow 6-5 defeat against Woollaston. He said: “I was delighted to see the event staged in Cardiff, it’s one of the best venues on the circuit.”

Williams, age 40, underwent rotator cuff surgery on his shoulder earlier this month. “I had been struggling with it for nine months so I had to have the operation,” he said. “The doctors said the operation went fine, though it is still painful.

“I was hoping to play in the Riga Open in Latvia in two weeks time, but I tried to practise this week and it was very difficult so I will wait and see. I don’t want to risk coming back too early, though it is boring sitting around doing nothing when I’d rather be playing snooker.”

Williams believes Welsh snooker is in good hands, with Michael White and Jamie Jones enjoying recent success. “I’ve been saying for a while that Michael would win tournaments and he has proved me right this year,” added the former world number one. “Jamie got to the semi-finals in Australia this month and hopefully he can kick on. It looks like China has many of the best young players, but it’s good that Wales has those two with a lot of potential.”