Ballsy Snooker Player Gets Naked For Media After Winning World Title
Ballsy Snooker Player Gets Naked For Media After Winning World Title
Mark Williams secured an 18-16 victory over John Higgins
09 May, 2018, 01:00
Mark Williams, boosted by a late night kebab, led John Higgins by 10-7 after the opening day of the world snooker championship final in Sheffield.
The three-times world champion looked forward to returning to the Crucible next year and promised to outdo himself if he defended his title.
At 43, Williams has become the tournament's oldest victor for 40 years.
Williams arrived naked apart from a sponsors towel sparing his blushes - under orders from supremo Barry Hearn - but soon took it off after sitting down.
"To be honest, a little bit uncomfortable at the minute", replied Williams to a journalist who asked how it felt to win his first World Championship in 15 years.
Williams, who nearly quit last summer, beat four-time victor John Higgins 18-16 in a Sheffield thriller described as "the best final" by legend Steve Davis.
"Past year I was seriously thinking of giving up" Williams told the BBC. He insists he contemplated retirement last summer, having not won a ranking title for six years.
Higgins said: "Obviously I am disappointed but it was great to play in such an occasion in front of this crowd, and Mark is a brilliant champion".
"I watched it in a caravan with a beer", Williams said, typically deadpan.
"Luckily I did that and then tonight I came in and put a bit of pressure on Mark".
A missed pink in the next frame allowed Higgins back into the game and made it 17-16. But Williams, who won his last world title 15 years ago, held on to secure the victory, along with a cheque for £425,000.
"It's an unbelievable story", he said.
Back came Williams, and a century break to go one frame away from victory suggested his nerves had settled. I've just done something I never thought I would.
'I knew at the end if I didn't get enough he was going to clear up again.
But Higgins ensured there wouldn't be a final finishing with a session to spare for the first time since 1993, as a gritty run of 67 handed him frame 22 before knocks of 72 and 80 closed the gap even further, to 14-10.
"I was 14-7 behind and I was anxious if I would (not) take it to the fourth session", Higgins said.
Yesterday was a bit disappointing but the team backed me today and the team did everything possible to put me into pink. With a strong tailwind in the peloton's sails, the gap came down to under a minute with 40 kilometres remaining.
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