World Championship: Mark Williams says third title is unbelievable
World champion Mark Williams says he “thought he was finished five years ago” and did not expect to win the title for a third time.
The Welshman held off John Higgins’ fightback to triumph 18-16 – 15 years after his last success at the Crucible.
Williams turned up to his post-match news conference naked after promising to do so earlier in the tournament.
“The turnaround in the past 12 months is something I cannot work out,” the 43-year-old told BBC Sport.
“I am very surprised how well I have done. I did not think there was another title in me 12 months ago.
“If there is another world title in me, that would be unbelievable. If there is not, then I can’t grumble.”
Indeed, Williams made his vow to strip naked earlier in the tournament because he believed his chances of success were so remote.
The 2000 and 2003 champion had not won a ranking event since 2011 before this season and did not even qualify for the Crucible last year.
At that point he considered retiring, but with three young children to provide for was persuaded to continue by his wife, Joanne.
He claimed the Northern Ireland Open and German Masters this season and is the oldest world champion since 45-year-old Ray Reardon in 1978.
“This was one of the most enjoyable matches and it was always going to be tough against John,” he said.
“The occasion was brilliant and the crowd got involved too. It was an emotional experience that I did not think I was going to get again.
“I am not going to emulate Reardon by winning it six times. Twice is brilliant but three times is unbelievable.
“To think I’ll have a similar season next year is probably a bit silly. If I play like an absolute fish next season, it doesn’t matter, I can’t grumble.
“This season makes up for me playing garbage for the last 15 years.”
The World Snooker championship is an annual event that hold in the Crucible theatre in Sheffield, Uk.
culled from BBCsports