Six-time world champion Steve Davis says Mark Williams’ performance in the second session of the World Championship final against John Higgins on Sunday proves the Welshman is capable of lifting the trophy again. Higgins arrived in the final refreshed and ready to go, having dispatched England’s Kyren Wilson 17-13 in the semi-final, but there were question marks over the energy of Williams.
‘The Welsh Wonder’, who is chasing his third title and first since 2003, managed to edge past Barry Hawkins in the other last-four clash but the match didn’t come to a conclusion until 11.50pm on Saturday night. Williams, who contemplated retiring last year after a poor run of form, was still awake two hours later, indulging in a kebab, and many were wondering how the lack of rest would affect his game. The 43-year-old certainly proved any doubters wrong as he opened up a 4-0 lead but Higgins, who is eyeing a fifth world crown, was able to level the scores at 7-7. Both players made errors in the final three frames of the session on Sunday night but it was Williams who managed to creep ahead again, moving into a 10-7 lead going into Monday.
Speaking after the second session, Davis admitted he had doubts over the Welshman although those have now subsided. He said on BBC Two: “That was an astonishing last frame with Higgins making a schoolboy error. I knew Higgins could win this final but I wasn’t so sure about Mark Williams but he’s shown he can. He looks really assured. “John will rest up tonight and have another big push tomorrow. He has the ability to do that.” Williams is the 1/2 favourite to win the title whilst Higgins, who lost in last year’s final to Mark Selby, is a 6/4 chance.
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