World Snooker Championship: Mark Williams beats John Higgins in Crucible second round

By Owen PhillipsBBC Sport at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
Mark Williams (right) and John Higgins
Williams was a shock Crucible champion 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.

Mark Williams completed a dominant 13-7 second-round win over fellow multiple world champion John Higgins in a re-run of the 2018 World Championship final.

The 46-year-old Welshman increased his overnight lead to 10-3 with a five-frame burst in the morning session.

A gritty three-frame riposte featuring two tons kept Higgins, 45, in touch for the evening.

But the three-time champion Williams closed out an impressive victory with breaks of 76, 85 and 77.

Williams, who faces Mark Allen or Mark Selby in the last eight, said: "I played really well all the way through. I potted well, some of the long pots were a bit kamikaze but most of them went in and that's how I have been playing.

"I put him under pressure from the off. He missed a few and then he let his arm go this morning and potted everything so I knew he could come back.

"But I also knew I was playing well. I am just enjoying my snooker and I am playing the kind of game I did 20 years ago and am loving every minute of it."

Williams wins battle of former champions

Williams has beaten Higgins in three of their previous four meetings at the Crucible and looked certain to make it four from five in quick time after a blistering start to their morning session.

He scored a century to open, and breaks of 63 and 80 helped him move to within three frames of victory as his deft touch and fast-paced attacking approach saw him dominate.

Scotland's Higgins, a four-time champion and four-time runner-up, responded in typical style, but he missed a tricky black on 113 when on track for a 147.

The century helped the 45-year-old's confidence return and he stayed in touch by taking the next two with scores of 107 and 82 to trail 10-6.

But Williams, on his 23rd Crucible campaign, continued to look the more composed on the resumption and he progressed having scored three tons and seven further breaks of more than 50.

Higgins said: "I didn't play well enough. Mark is the best shot-maker in the game. He is so clever. You can't really open the balls up because he can pot them as well as anyone.

"His all-round game is so good. I never played well enough at any point during the whole tournament."

The other match played in the evening saw world number seven Shaun Murphy score the highest break of the tournament so far in building a 6-2 lead over China's Yan Bingtao after their first session.

Murphy eclipsed the 143 scored in qualifying by Mark Davis, the player Murphy beat in the first round at the Crucible.

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