In Brief

Mark Williams strips naked after winning third snooker world title

Welshman promised he would bare all in the post-final press conference if he claimed victory

Mark Williams stayed true to his word last night, after pledging to appear naked at the post-event press conference if he won the 2018 World Championship. 

The Welsh snooker star claimed victory in a “classic” final at The Crucible, beating John Higgins 18-16 despite a “stunning fightback” by the Scotsman, the BBC reports.

Williams had won seven frames in a row to take a 14-7 lead, before Higgins drew deep to level the score at 15-15. But Williams, who won his last world title 15 years ago, held on to secure the victory, along with a cheque for £425,000.

The 43-year-old didn’t even appear at the World Championship last year and had contemplated retiring from snooker following a lack of form.

Speaking to the BBC after last night’s win in Sheffield, Williams said: “It’s unbelievable. Twelve months ago I wasn’t even here. I watched it in a caravan. I was seriously thinking of giving up, but my wife, Joanne, said I can’t sleep in the house 24 hours a day.”

Paying tributes to Higgins, Williams added: “To play John in a final is an experience in itself. You’ve got to expect a comeback because when you’re 50 or 60 in front, he’s the best I’ve ever seen at clearing up - and that includes Ronnie O’Sullivan.

“I was thinking, ‘I’m not going to get over the line here.’ I knew if I didn’t get enough he was going to clear up again. But I’m over the moon.”

After collecting the trophy, Williams appeared at the news conference wearing nothing but a towel to protect his modesty, warning journalists not to “get too close”.

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