Mark Williams apologised after falling asleep during a match for the first time in his career as he was knocked out of the UK Championship in the second round.

Williams, 46, was defeated 6-5 by Anthony Hamilton, a two-time winner.

Williams stated he contracted COVID-19 in October and that’s why he fell asleep halfway through the match versus Hamilton.

In thirty years as a pro, that’s the first time I’ve ever fallen asleep in a chair, “Williams, the world No. 9 said.

“I was out with a score of 3-2. For approximately five seconds after my head hit the ground and I awoke, I had no idea where I was.

“It was a little embarrassing, but I was simply broken.” I definitely need to play in the mornings or afternoons. The more the day goes on, the more exhausted I am.

“It’s disappointing, but there are a lot worse people that have had COVID than I’ve had it, so I’m one of the lucky ones really. It’s definitely better than what it was a couple of weeks ago, so I’ve just got to keep going, but if I play night matches I’m going to really struggle. ”

Williams also apologised for the incident on Twitter, stating, “It has nothing to do with Anthony, I’m simply sick from COVID.”

The Scottish Open, which begins on December 6, is anticipated to be Williams’ next event.

“It’s only the best of seven, so I should be able to stay awake for that one,” he joked.

Williams made a strong start against Hamilton as breaks of 65 and 66 helped him open up a 3-0 lead.

The next two sets were won by Hamilton to reduce the margin, but Williams responded with a 71-point break to move closer to victory. Williams, who had fallen off, saw the match slide away from him as Hamilton struck three half-century breaks in a row to take a 5-4 lead.

But Williams fought back to tie the game at 5-5, only for Hamilton to win the match with a 70-point break in the fourth frame thanks to a fluke on a red.

“I’ve had enough flukes in my time,” Williams said, “so you’ve got to take one the other way now and again.”

The event continues on Monday at York Barbican with the third round.

“I didn’t play well enough,” Selby said. “Hossein was clearly the superior player and deservedly won.” He got off to a tremendous start and is a great front-runner who can blow everyone away if you let him get away.

“The first two frames, I didn’t get much of a chance.” Hossein performed admirably and settled in fast.

“I probably should have won the third frame, since I missed an easy black on the spot and only had a half-chance in the next, so it might have easily been 2-2 at the break.” But after the break, he came out firing and deservedly won the game. ”

Vafaei enters the UK Championship after defeating Ronnie O’Sullivan 5-0 in the German Masters qualifying last month.

“Beating the best players in the world is a huge accomplishment for anyone,” he remarked. “They are our legends, so I have to appreciate them; whether they win or lose, their names will always be remembered.” Mark Selby is one of our best advocates and a wonderful champion. ”

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