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Unlucky break for Welsh snooker star Williams.

DOUBLE world snooker champion Mark Williams is facing a race against time to be in shape for the first ranking tournament of the new season next month after a freak accident.

The 34-year-old went flying in his home in Cwm, Ebbw Vale, on Monday and spent time in hospital where he was diagnosed with a broken wrist.

The break is in his right wrist, which is lucky, in some way, for the left-hander, in that he can grip the cue.

Even so, he is unable to form a bridge to place the cue on his right hand and, as a result, cannot practise at his 'second home,' the Emporium Club in Bargoed before the Shanghai Masters.

Williams was hoping to get a bit of pre-tournament match practice before flying out to the Far East by facing ex-world No 8 Darren Morgan in the final of the TCC Pro-Am in Newport, but that has now been postponed.

And, with only six ranking events scheduled between next month and the BetFred World Championships in April, the Welsh ace needs all the points he can muster to retain his place in the elite top 16 which he regained only in May after a season trawling the qualifying rounds in Prestatyn.

Williams said: "I broke my wrist when I fell in the house on Monday. I'm hoping to see a specialist soon and then get more information about it.

"It is in a plaster cast and they say it normally takes six weeks before it is ready to come out of the cast."

If that was right, it would mean him missing the Shanghai Masters which start on September 10 which are just four weeks away.

Williams said: "It is touch and go, but I've told the doctors that I'm a professional snooker player so I hope it will be quicker than six weeks."

Williams is due to be playing Ireland's Joe Swail in the Shanghai first round.

Other Welsh players in the first round see Pontycymmer's Ryan Day, the highest ranked Welshman on the Main Tour, and Carmarthen's Matthew Stevens playing two Northern Irishmen in Gerard Greene, who plays Day, and Mark Allen, Stevens' opponent.

If Day and Stevens win, they meet in the second round.

Flint's Ricky Walden, ranked 20th in the world and the defending Shanghai Masters champion, opens against Mark King.

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Williams faces a fitness race
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Aug 14, 2009
Words:398
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