Mark Williams is making a 6,000 mile dash to play in the Hong Kong Masters on Friday after a last minute call-up to play in the event.

Zhao Xintong was due to face Neil Robertson in the eight-player tournament this week, but after testing negative for Covid in the UK, the Chinese star tested positive on a PCR test after arriving in Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong Masters is the first World Snooker Tour event in Asia since 2019 and Covid precautions are still pretty extensive, certainly compared to the return to normality we have experienced in the UK.

Zhao was forced out of the event and Williams got the call, tested negative at home and is flying to Hong Kong on Thursday to play Robertson on Friday.

The three-time world champion has been keeping fans updated on his progress on Twitter, heading to the airport early on Thursday for a 13-hour flight.

With the time difference from the UK to Hong Kong, it is a tight turnaround for the Welshman, who says he is set to land at 10am local time before playing at 1.30pm.

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