Burns to face ace Williams

Preston ace Ian Burns
Preston ace Ian Burns
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IAN Burns looked in trouble during his first-round match at the English Open but after battling through, the man himself insists he was not worried.

Preston potter Burns trailed Christopher Keogan 2-0 at EventCity in Manchester before fighting back to win the remaining frames and book his place in Wednesday’s second round with a 4-2 victory.

The 31-year-old made breaks of 65 and 56 during the comeback and now faces two-time world champion Mark Williams.

And while Keogan may be 54 places below him in the world rankings, Burns was taking nothing for granted.

“Any win is a good win these days – Chris played well to go 2-0 up but I just stuck in,” he explained.

“I knew I was playing well, so if I got my chances I was sure I could score heavily. It was just good to get a win on the board.

“Even at 2-0 down I wasn’t too concerned. I’ve been playing well recently, I qualified for China and had a good win over Alan McManus in the European Masters so I’m pleased with where my game is.

“It will be a tough game in the next round but I’m happy with how I’m playing, so we’ll see how it goes.”

Williams’ two World Championship titles came in 2000 and 2003 but the 41-year-old is still among the game’s best players – currently ranked at 13 in the world.

Burns will be heavy underdog heading into that second-round clash but is relishing the opportunity to test himself against the Welshman.

“Mark is still a great player – he has been around a long time but he’s still playing well,” added Burns. “You have to look forward to playing those kind of players.

“If I can get a win, then great, but if not I’ll take what I can from it and get ready for the next tournament.

“It’s about good performances for me at the moment and trying to get a few wins.

“My aim this year is to stay in the top 64 but I’m not defending a lot of points, so that’s in my favour.

“It won’t be easy but I’m concentrating on the top 64.”

Watch the English Open LIVE on Eurosport 1 and Quest, featuring daily studio analysis from Ronnie O’Sullivan, Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.