All hopes of a home-grown winner of the Welsh Open Snooker Championship were dashed yesterday as the final Welshman left in the competition was defeated.
Mark Williams suffered a 4-2 loss against Hong Kong’s Marco Fu in the last-16 phase of the competition held in Newport.
No Welsh player has won the championship in 15 years since Williams came out victorious in 1999.
Williams, 38, took the opening frame and should have doubled his lead, but was made to pay for simple errors.
He missed on a run of 52 in the second, allowing Fu in to make a 76 clearance and the third frame followed a similar pattern as Williams broke down on 51 and Fu replied with a break of 70 to go 2-1 up.
Fu never looked back and the final frame, although scrappy, was eventually won with a break of 21 from Fu which ended the Welshman’s hopes.
Elsewhere in the competition, favourite Ronnie O’Sullivan eased past Ricky Walden 4-1 to move into the quarter-finals where he will meet John Higgins who clinched a thrilling 4-3 final-frame victory over Judd Trump.
Holder Stephen Maguire suffered a shock 4-3 defeat against 19-year-old Joel Walker of Sheffield, who will face Ding Junhui in the last-eight.
Walker, who turned professional in 2012, has never progressed past the second round of a ranking event, but continued his run in Newport by grinding out a victory over Scot Maguire.
Williams’s conqueror Fu will face Barry Hawkins who came from 2-0 down to beat Liang Wenbo 4-2.
Joe Perry and Mark Selby also won to set up a quarter-final meeting at the Newport Centre.
Fourth round results:
Ali Carter (Eng) 1-4 Mark Selby (Eng)
Stuart Bingham (Eng) 3-4 Joe Perry (Eng)
Ricky Walden (Eng) 1-4 Ronnie O’Sullivan (Eng)
Stephen Maguire (Sco) 3-4 Joel Walker (Eng)
Scott Donaldson (Sco) 0-4 Ding Junhui (Chn)
Judd Trump (Eng) 3-4 John Higgins (Sco)
Mark Williams (Wal) 2-4 Marco Fu (HK)
Liang Wenbo (Chn) 2-4 Barry Hawkins (Eng)
Joel Walker v Ding Junhui
Joe Perry v Mark Selby
Marco Fu v Barry Hawkins
John Higgins v Ronnie O’Sullivan