Published On: Fri, Mar 1st, 2024
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Snooker star ‘misses flight’ as WST respond to Saudi event fears | Other | Sport

Snooker star Mark Williams has revealed that he “missed” his flight to Saudi Arabia as a result of a flat tyre on his way to the airport. The Welsh icon is one of the 10 stars scheduled to take part in the first Riyadh Season World Masters of Snooker event and was set to play on the opening night of the tournament.

Williams and Ali Carter open the first professional snooker event in Saudi on Monday against wildcards Omar Alajlani and Ali Alobaidli from Saudi Arabia and Qatar respectively. But three-time world champion Williams now faces a rush to play in the Middle East after a disrupted day of travel.

The 48-year-old took to X (formerly known as Twitter) to post a picture of his flat tyre and confirmed that his trip to the Middle East had been delayed. He wrote: “Great start to saudi, missed flight,” accompanied by several emojis covering their own eyes.

Williams will likely still be able to catch another flight to Saudi Arabia in time for his opener on Monday and the World Snooker Tour (WST) has confirmed to Express Sport that the match is set to go ahead as scheduled.

The three-day event in Riyadh would see Williams take on Ronnie O’Sullivan in Tuesday’s quarter-final if he progresses against a wildcard. Judd Trump, Mark Allen, Luca Brecel, Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy will all also be in attendance at Boulevard City to compete for a total prize pool of £789,000.

The event will be played under WST rules but with one major tweak, the addition of a new golden ‘Riyadh Season ball’. The 23rd ball on the table will be worth 20 points and can only be potted once, if a player has made a maximum break.

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