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WILLIAMS MEETS BINGHAM IN AUSTRALIA FINAL

Mark Williams will meet Stuart Bingham in the final of the 2011 Australian Snooker Goldfields Open.

Both players won their semi-finals by 6-2 scorelines over Ken Doherty and Shaun Murphy respectively at the Bendigo Stadium in Bendigo, Victoria.

World number one Williams will be aiming to collect the 19th ranking title of his career, while Bingham will be playing in his first ranking final.

After a 16-year career as a professional, Bingham has experienced the highs and lows of snooker, but believes this moment has made all the effort worthwhile.

“All the hard work and dedication has finally paid off,” said an emotional Bingham.

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“This has to be the best achievement for me. It’s something I’ve wanted to do all of my life and I just hope I play well in the final.

“I beat Stephen Hendry in the World Championships (in 2000) and thought I had made it but a few things happened off the table.

“At one stage I nearly dropped off the tour and I lost ten matches on the trot. I was about 76th in the rankings when there were only 90 players.

“I turned professional in 1995 and it’s everyone’s dream to become World Champion and world number one. But as the years went on you start doubting yourself.

“It’s nice to put that Hendry result to rest. People will talk about my final here and not just about beating Stephen Hendry.

“It’s going to be tough but the toughest thing is controlling my emotions.”

Williams hit two centuries in his victory over Doherty, who was playing in his first semi-final for five years.

Welshman Williams has now made five century breaks in the tournament – more than any other player and one more than Bingham.

“It was a tough game and Ken didn’t miss a lot,” said Williams. “It’s just nice to see him back playing and getting to the latter stages. This could be the springboard he needs to get back up the rankings.

“After the first match I’ve played quite well and the tables have been excellent and the crowd excellent. I’m just looking forward to the final.

“It’s not easy to get to the final so I’m just going to enjoy it. I probably haven’t got many more finals in me left.”

Williams made breaks of 110 and 106 but also of 47, 53, 48, 56 and 49 as he remained on course to win again.

The final is the best of 19 frames with the first session starting at 2pm local time and the second session at 7.30pm.

Live coverage is available on FOXSPORTS from 1-5pm and 7.30-11pm daily in Australia. The programmes are also broadcast on Eurosport across the UK, Ireland and mainland Europe.

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