China Open: Mark Williams to face Mark Selby in final

Mark Williams
Mark Williams has not won a ranking title since the German Masters in 2011

Mark Williams remains on course for an automatic World Championship place after winning 6-1 against Hossein Vafaei to reach the China Open final.

Welshman Williams, world champion in 2000 and 2003, needs to win the event to return to the top 16 and qualify for the Crucible later this month.

The 42-year-old will play world champion Mark Selby in Sunday's final, which is the best of 19 frames.

Selby beat fellow Englishman Kyren Wilson 6-4 in a high quality match.

Iranian world number 76 Vafaei, 22, was in his first ranking semi-final after beating defending champion Judd Trump of England.

Williams went 5-0 up on Saturday after eventually winning a nervy opening frame that lasted 40 minutes.

Vafaei made a break of 98 in frame six, missing the final pink when he looked set for a century, before Williams completed the victory in the seventh.

There was also a 40-minute opening frame in the second semi-final, which Selby took before taking a 3-1 lead.

However, Wilson remained in touch and his 130 clearance levelled the match at 3-3.

Only one frame remained between the players until Selby settled it in the 10th with a break of 93.

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