Masters: Mark Selby loses to Mark Williams in first round at Alexandra Palace

Masters 2018 on the BBC
Venue: Alexandra Palace, London Date: 14-21 January
Coverage: Watch live on BBC Two, BBC Red Button, Connected TV, the BBC Sport website and mobile app. Live text on the final on the BBC Sport website.

World number one Mark Selby suffered a first-round defeat by Mark Williams in the opening match of the Masters at London's Alexandra Palace.

Welshman Williams, 42, won a tense deciding frame to clinch a 6-5 victory and reach the quarter-finals.

"I'm over the moon," Williams said. "I'm playing a hell of a lot better than I've done for many years."

In the day's other first-round match, Northern Ireland's Mark Allen beat Belgium's Luca Brecel 6-3.

Williams, who won the Masters in 1998 and 2003, opened with a a break of 135 and moved 2-0 up with an 89 before Selby began to dominate.

The reigning world champion, who admitted the in-form Williams was one of the players he had hoped to avoid in the first round, won three frames in a row en route to a 5-3 lead.

But Williams was not to be denied, winning three frames in succession to avenge his 6-5 loss to Selby at the same stage of this tournament in 2017.

"I thought it was a good match, both of us played quite well," added Williams, who will play Barry Hawkins or Kyren Wilson in the last eight.

"If I can keep playing like that then someone's going to have to play well [to beat me]."

Selby, 34, was also eliminated early in the UK Championship last month, losing to Scott Donaldson in the second round.

In the evening contest, Allen was impressive as he saw off 22-year-old Masters debutant Brecel, compiling breaks of 86, 135 and 72 as the pair shared the first six frames.

Allen, 31, won a scrappy seventh to move 4-3 ahead, before shutting Brecel out in the next two frames and wrapping up the win with a 120 break.

Allen now plays the winner of Tuesday's match between Ronnie O'Sullivan and Marco Fu.

The Masters runs until Sunday, 21 January and the winner will collect £200,000.