Mark Williams apologises for 'falling asleep' during shock UK Championship loss

Mark Williams has apologised for falling asleep in his chair during his shock 6-5 defeat to Anthony Hamilton at the UK Championship on Sunday night, saying he is still feeling the effects of Covid which he suffered from last month.

Williams missed both the European Masters and the English Open after testing positive for Covid in October, suffering badly with the symptoms of the virus for around a week.

He since returned to action at the Champion of Champions and won his opening match in York against Lei Peifan, but says he was struggling again with Covid against Hamilton.

The three-time world champion got off to a great start, taking a 3-0 lead with breaks of 66 and 65 along the way, but he fell away as Hamilton got stronger, with the Sheriff of Pottingham making breaks of 88, 70, 65 and 64 to win four of the last five frames and claim a fantastic victory.

Williams revealed after the game that he wasn’t feeling great, though, and even nodded off in his chair due to fatigue setting in.

The Welshman tweeted: ‘I would like to apologise to anyone watching tonight, in 30 years as a pro I have never ever fell asleep in my chair before.

‘It was nothing to do with Anthony btw, I just don’t feel well from Covid. Bit embarrassing and not professional.’

He added: ‘Hopefully no one noticed too much, fingers crossed cameras didn’t realise.’

The 46-year-old also said he is considering pulling out of the Scottish Open, which starts on 6 December, unless he is feeling better, but is hoping to have perked up over the next week.

As for Hamilton, the 50-year-old has found some good form this season after struggling with injury and a dodgy cue last campaign, and while it looked like he was heading towards dropping off tour at one stage, he is loving fighting for his snooker life.

‘I enjoyed it a lot. I didn’t enjoy the start because he looked really good for the first three frames,’ Hamilton told WST.

‘I just dig in like I did in the first round, I was 3-0 down in that match too and I just dug in like I’ve been doing all season.

‘Good attitude, positive mindset, good or bad, you’d be surprised, if you win a frame or two these matches can turn around, but only if you dig in so I’m dead proud of that aspect of the match.

‘I was twitching all over the gaff at the end like I was 20. That’s why I want to stay on the tour, you only get that from sky diving and playing snooker. You won’t get that when you retire. These emotions are hard to come by.

‘I love being under pressure, it’s great, you’re not going to get that anywhere else.’

Hamilton now takes on Ricky Walden in the last 32 at the Barbican on Tuesday evening.

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