Mark Williams has defeated world number 13 Jackson Page to become the new World Snooker Champion. The Welshman is now guaranteed a place in history as he becomes only the third player ever to win back-to-back titles after John Higgins and Ronnie O’Sullivan.
Mark Williams has won the world championship three times.
|Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre is the venue for this event. Dates: April 16th through May 2nd|
|Live coverage is available on TV and Red Button, as well as on iPlayer, the Sport website, and the Sport app.|
Mark Williams put up a masterful performance to beat fellow Welshman Jackson Page 13-3 and go to the World Championship quarter-finals in Sheffield.
Six centuries and eight breaks of 50 or more were produced by the three-time winner, who won with a session to spare.
Next up for Williams is either reigning champion Mark Selby or Yan Bingtao of China.
Ronnie O’Sullivan, a six-time champion, was in good form as he took a 6-2 lead against Mark Allen of Northern Ireland.
At this World Championship, O’Sullivan has been in a good mood and has being followed by a camera team for a documentary.
Although Allen said in the lead-up to the match that it was “not the Ronnie O’Sullivan show,” ‘The Rocket’ performed near to his magnificent best in the first session.
In one century and four half-centuries, the Englishman, who is looking for a record-tying eighth world title, stroked. At 19:00 BST, the two will restart their match.
Stephen Maguire of Scotland, who had to qualify for the competition, is closing close on an 11-5 win against UK champion Zhao Xintong.
When the tournament resumes on Saturday morning, world number 40 Maguire will need just two more frames to reach the last eight.
A fowl and a miss – a pigeon interrupts the game
A pigeon somehow forced its way into the Crucible Theatre before the sixth frame between reigning champion Selby and Yan, shocking the Chinese player while he was in his chair.
During commentary on Two, former world champion Ken Doherty quipped, “I don’t believe it, we’ve got pigeon here.” “Have you seen anything like that before? For a free seat, the birds would go to any length.”
The bird took a few steps across the table before flying towards Selby, who had exited the arena after the fifth frame.
It made its way backstage, where a member of the crew nabbed it.
After the first session, Selby and Yan are tied at 4-4, with the match set to resume on Saturday morning.
‘Absolutely absurd,’ Williams says.
Because they train together and Page plays games and prepares pizza with his three boys, Williams dubbed Page, 20, his “fourth son.”
However, the maestro gave his protégé a lesson in cue-ball control, stroking in a match-record-equaling six tons and bringing his tournament total to ten.
Williams built a 7-1 lead in the first session, then stunned Page on his Crucible debut with runs of 74, 53, 50, 75, 51, 65 twice, and 56.
The two were expected to complete on Friday night, but the early completion allows Williams, 47, to take a break before returning to action on Tuesday.
“If it was anybody else with a spare session, it would be ‘excellent, pounded him,’ but I don’t feel like that playing Jackson,” Williams said.
“I played pretty well, I kept him on his toes, and it was a terrific learning experience for him.” He has the ability to bounce back.
“I didn’t give him much of a chance. I didn’t let up during the game, so he can’t be too dissatisfied. At my age, I’m not capable of playing much better.”
Number 90 in the world “He was great in the opening session, and that set the tone for the match,” Page remarked.
“He got away with it, and you have to give it your all to catch up. He was ludicrous to say the least. You can’t find anything wrong with it.”
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