Williams fulfils naked ambition to claim third snooker world title

first_imgThe 2018 World snooker champion Mark WilliamsLondon, United Kingdom | AFP | Mark Williams fought off a stunning comeback from John Higgins to claim his third world snooker crown on Monday and then fulfilled a pledge to appear naked at his press conference.The Welshman won a gripping final 18-16 to add to his titles in 2000 and 2003.At 43 he became the oldest winner since his fellow Welshman Ray Reardon triumphed aged 45 in 1978.Higgins, 42 and seeking a fifth title, fought back from a seven-frame deficit to draw level at 15-15, but Williams held on to take the sport’s showcase.It capped a remarkable late-career revival as he did not even qualify for the championships in 2017, and last reached the final 15 years ago, when he defeated Ken Doherty.“Last year I watched this in a caravan having some beers. I just can’t believe it, I was seriously thinking of giving up” Williams told the BBC.He was 15-10 up, three frames away from the title, after Monday’s afternoon session having started the day 10-7 in front.He stormed seven frames clear when taking Monday’s first four frames but Higgins fought back in what six-time former champion Steve Davis commentating for the BBC described as “the best final ever”. Davis wasn’t the only one left in awe at what he had witnessed with referee Brendan Moore taking to Twitter to declare: “Well I’ve reffed some great games in my time, but that was an absolute classic.”Higgins reflected: “Today I was 13-7 behind and I was worried if I would take it to the fourth session, I didn’t want to lose with a session to spare.– ‘Hand grenade’ –“It was a good match to watch but obviously I’m disappointed. He is a great champion.”The two fortysomethings received a standing ovation at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre as they emerged for the concluding evening session.And Higgins had the captivated crowd on the edge of their seats as he compiled a stunning 131 break after a costly error by Williams to take the 27th frame to make it 15-11.That was the Scot’s fourth century in the final.Share on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2last_img

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