World Snooker Championship: Mark Williams joins Judd Trump in second round at Crucible

By Owen PhillipsBBC Sport at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
Mark Williams
Mark Williams was Crucible champion in 2000 and 2003, and a shock winner in 2018
Betfred World Snooker Championship
Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 17 April-3 May
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four and Red Button, with uninterrupted coverage on BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app.

Three-time champion Mark Williams set up a second-round re-run of the 2018 World Championship final against John Higgins with a convincing 10-4 victory over debutant Sam Craigie.

Williams, 46, battled from 2-0 down to lead 5-4 after a tight first session.

But the Welshman's attacking approach proved too much for Craigie as he won five frames in a row in the evening.

"I made my mind up to go for everything. I would rather go for it and enjoy myself," he told BBC Sport.

"I put him under pressure and I am very pleased with how I played. I have played well for quite a while now."

World number 51 Craigie, 27, settled impressively, scoring a break of 74 in frame one.

But after slipping further behind, Williams won 10 of the next 12 frames to cruise through, compiling six breaks of more than 50 along the way.

In the other evening match, five-time Crucible semi-finalist and 2013 runner-up Barry Hawkins made light work of fellow Englishman Matthew Selt, winning four frames in a row to close out a 10-3 win.

Kent's Hawkins, the world number 11, admitted he was a little fortunate to be 6-3 ahead after the first session.

But he was in superb form to finish off the match, making breaks of 76, 126 and 82 to earn a place against 2020 runner-up Kyren Wilson.

"I could have been 6-3 down instead of 6-3 up but I felt strong and played well in the end," said Hawkins. "My games has been strong but I have my work cut out against Kyren. He's a top player now."

No trouble for Trump

Judd Trump
Judd Trump has won 11 ranking events in the past two seasons

World number one Judd Trump strolled into the second round of the World Championship with a routine 10-4 win over qualifier Liam Highfield.

The 2019 champion resumed with a 7-2 advantage and continued his good form with breaks of 51, 50 and 84 helping stretch his lead to 9-3.

A stunning 138 by Stoke-based Highfield prolonged the match, but Trump's eighth score of more than 50 sealed victory.

"I got off to a good start and was always in control," Trump, 31, said.

"I missed the odd ball here and there but I played some good stuff and it was comfortable in the end."

Trump has already won five ranking events this season and says the key to remaining successful is "playing with freedom".

"This year I have tried to approach it by enjoying myself, going for difficult balls and not being too critical," he added. "There's absolutely no pressure. If I win, I win, if I don't, I don't. It's about playing snooker with a smile on my face."

Bristol's Trump, who faces Dave Gilbert in the last 16, is now assured of remaining as world number one at the end of the season, no matter what happens for the rest of the tournament.

Another former champion, three-time winner Mark Selby, was in majestic form in taking an 8-1 lead over Kurt Maflin.

Leicester's Selby, 37, scored two centuries, including a Crucible high score of 142 at this year's event, and made six further breaks of more than 50.

The match plays to a finish on Thursday afternoon, with the winner set to face Northern Ireland's Mark Allen.

Work to do for Murphy

Shaun Murphy (left) and Mark Davis
Shaun Murphy (left) was the last player to win the World Championship as a qualifier, a feat he achieved in 2005

Elsewhere, the 2005 champion Shaun Murphy trails veteran Mark Davis 5-4 at the end of a tight opening to their match.

Ninth seed Murphy pinched the first frame after Davis, 48, missed a long red after getting out of position on a break of 56.

Davis, back at the Crucible for the 12th time in his career, scored three further half-centuries to build a 5-3 lead, but Murphy finished with a ton.

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