Hossein Vafaei becomes first Iranian to win a snooker ranking title with victory over Mark Williams

Hossein Vafaei
Vafaei had reached three rankings tournament semi-finals before his victory on Sunday

Hossein Vafaei became the first Iranian player to win a ranking title, beating Mark Williams in the final of the Snooker Shoot Out.

Vafaei won the one-frame final with a break of 71 and dedicated the victory to his late grandmother.

“That is for you grandma,” the 27-year-old told Eurosport. “It’s Mother’s Day in Iran and I am very proud I did that.

“It’s a big achievement for a country like Iran. Nobody knew about snooker before. Now they know.”

Wales’ Williams, the three-time world champion, only got the chance to play one shot in the final with world number 42 Vafaei sinking a tricky, long red after the break-off.

“I thought I’d played a pretty good break-off shot there and what a fantastic red that was,” said Williams. “To make that break under pressure to win your first tournament, hats off to him.”

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