Mark Williams is out to win but doesn’t care if he loses (Picture: VCG via Getty Images)

Mark Williams believes other players would feel the benefit of adopting his carefree attitude to snooker as he is adamant that, while he is out to win, it makes no difference to him if he loses.

The three-time world champion has always been a relaxed character but has taken his outlook on snooker to new lengths in the last couple of years, accepting that he might play badly and refusing to let it get him down.

There is no question of a lack of effort from the Welshman, he is still ranked number 14 in the world and was in the World Championship quarter-final last year, but after vanquishing thoughts of retirement the pressure is off and he will continue to play, win or lose, until someone tells him to stop.

Some have claimed that Williams is putting on a bit of a front when he says he doesn’t care about losing, but the 45-year-old is sticking to his guns and insists he could not care less.

‘Of course I want to win, every match I play I try my best to win,’ he said. ‘But I can honestly tell you, when I do lose, whenever that is, I don’t care. That’s it. It makes no difference.

‘People will say, “yeah, he does really” I honestly don’t. You’ve lost a snooker match, that’s it. Go home, get a takeaway, a kebab, watch the TV.’

The veteran’s attitude is pretty unique to him, although Ronnie O’Sullivan is also adamant results don’t bother him, but Williams feels other players should look to adopt it, or at least try and enjoy the game a bit more as it would help their results.

‘I think it would help a lot of players to look at it like that, not treat it like life or death,’ he said. ‘I know it’s a job and you’ve got to earn a living but you’ve got to try and enjoy it, I know it’s difficult, but try.

‘That’s what I’m trying to do for however long I’m staying on the tour for.’

The Welsh Potting Machine was considering retirement back in 2015, coming pretty close to it as his results suffered, but the decision to scrap those thoughts has taken a weight off his shoulders and allowed to, not only play, but enjoy playing.

‘It’s something I decided to. mainly when I decided I’m not giving up, then you just accept that you’re going to lose plenty of matches and when you win you’ve got to enjoy it and when you lose, get used to it,’ Mark explained.

‘I was really thinking about it in 2015, told the missus and everything, I was seriously thinking about it. It’s well known that she told me to carry on and now I’ve made my mind up I’m never retiring until I drop off the tour, and then I’m sure Barry [Hearn] will give me a wildcard to get back on. Then I’ll play the Seniors.

‘That decision is made now, if I win another three ranking tournaments or never win another game, that decision is made now.’

Williams beat Michael White in round one at the Welsh Open (Picture: Getty Images)

Williams has 22 ranking titles to his name and still wants to add to that tally, whether it is the ideal choice this week at the Welsh Open or even the Shoot Out.

‘Absolutely I want to win another one, definitely yeah,’ he said. ‘If you could pick one, you’d pick this one [Welsh Open] wouldn’t you?

‘But I’d take any tournament. The Shoot Out would have been great for me, 10 minutes away from winning that, that would have been nice. Anything, any win, just staying on the tour, let’s see how long I can do that for.’

Mark’s last big title came at the 2018 World Open and he knows he is still capable of lifting some silverware, but he will have to find some consistency, which he is finding increasingly hard to come by.

‘The problem at the minute, there’s no in between, I’m either really poor or quite good,’ he said. ‘But I much more enjoy it and I’m going to see if I can get down to 10 or 11 seconds a shot. I’m just trying to not get bogged down, get on with it and if you lose, at least it’ll be over in less than an hour.

‘I think it’s just age, my eyes aren’t getting any better, my game’s not going to get any better, it’s just a natural thing, it’s going to decline. Whatever sport you’re in, football, golf, tennis, you’re not going to get better at closer to 50, that’s just life. I’ve accepted it though, I know if I go out there, 50-50 I play dreadful or good, but I’m happy with that, there’s nothing I can do about it. Try your best, win or lose.

A deep run this week, to the semi-finals or further, could see Williams pinch a place in the Players Championship next week on the one-year ranking list, but he is absolutely not getting that far ahead of himself.

Asked if he had thought about the possibility he said: ‘Not at all. The chances are very slim of me getting in. Everything’s a possibility, I could win the lottery Saturday.’

Williams plays Liam Highfield in the second round at Celtic Manor on Wednesday.

Ronnie O’Sullivan: ‘I want to do a Ken Dodd, he toured until the day he died’

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