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Mark Williams
Venue: Alexandra Palace, London Dates: 8 January -15 January
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV and Red Button with uninterrupted coverage on BBC iPlayer, the BBC Sport website and the BBC Sport app

Mark Williams set up a Masters quarter-final with Ronnie O’Sullivan after a comfortable 6-2 win over David Gilbert.

Two-time champion Williams began superbly, reeling off breaks of 126, 127 and 95 on his way to a 4-0 lead.

Gilbert rallied with a 59 and 80 but saw Williams capitalise on mistakes as he came from behind in the next two frames to seal his victory.

Earlier on Tuesday Barry Hawkins completed a 6-0 whitewash over UK champion Mark Allen.

Welshman Williams meets world number one O’Sullivan in the last eight at Alexandra Palace on Thursday.

“Nothing beats coming out in front of this crowd. It is the best venue I have ever played in,” Williams told BBC Sport.

“I’m enjoying every minute of it. I don’t know how many more times I’ll be back so when I am back with all these fans it is special.

“It’ll be amazing [playing O’Sullivan], there’ll be two and a half thousand in here and I’ll probably have three people in the corner wanting me to win but that’s how it is when you play Ronnie.

“I am playing well so I am no pushover for anyone.”

A misjudged pot on a red with the long rest by Gilbert was punished severely in the opener by the Williams who began in methodical and clinical fashion with his first century of the match.

And while he went off the boil slightly after winning the second and third frames at one visit, he punished Gilbert’s errors decisively throughout, the Englishman losing two frames despite making half-centuries, including the eighth of the evening when both players were briefly distracted by a wasp flying around the arena.

Flawless Hawkins sweeps Allen

Earlier, Hawkins enjoyed a comprehensive win over Northern Ireland’s Allen and will now take on either Judd Trump or Ryan Day in the next round.

The Englishman combined astute tactical play with some superb potting as he dominated throughout, making breaks of 76 and 114 on his way to victory over one of the form players of the season.

The 43-year-old who lost to Neil Robertson in last year’s final had come into the contest as a slight underdog, with Allen, who defended his Northern Ireland Open title earlier in the season, bidding to secure back-to-back Triple Crown titles.

“It was probably one of the best safety performances I have ever played against as a professional,” said Allen, who exits the tournament at the first-round stage for the fifth consecutive year.

“I couldn’t even play a good return most of the time. There was a spell in that match when I hardly saw a ball. Barry was flawless. It was a phenomenal performance.”

Allen becomes the fourth consecutive UK champion to be knocked out of the Masters at the first hurdle, with Hawkins once again reserving his best for the big occasion.

“I didn’t give him a sniff and when I had to put him in trouble I did. The result flatters me a little bit,” Hawkins told BBC Sport.

“I think my safety won me the match. If I was ultra critical I probably could have scored a bit better but I kept Mark under pressure. There were very few unforced errors and I think that made the difference in the end.

“I seem to thrive off the crowd and pressure. A lot of times I have played my best stuff under the utmost pressure.”

Hawkins overturned a 55-point deficit to win the first frame and got the better of a lengthy safety exchange before constructing a superb half century to win the second from an improbable position, with the balls bunched awkwardly on the table.

A fortunate in-off, followed by an immediate tactical error and foul from Allen, saw Hawkins establish a 3-0 lead with a wonderful century and when Allen missed a brown to the top-right corner it enabled Hawkins to pinch a nervy fourth frame.

With Allen’s long potting success rate below 40%, two solid scoring contributions saw Hawkins take the fifth frame and then come from behind in the sixth to round off his win with a 34.

It was a fantastic performance from Hawkins. He completely dominated. There is no doubt he has the game to be a prolific winner.

He is a silent assassin. He goes about his business methodically and effectively but his cue-ball control is exemplary.

He is wonderful matchplayer. If he can’t score he will tie you to that cushion and put himself in a really strong position. It is not in his nature to be flashy but every department of his game is quality.

He may not be the best in any one department but he is in the top 10% across them all and that can be good enough.

Source: BBC

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