World Snooker Championship 2021: 'I'll look like a donkey' – Mark Williams on facing John Higgins
Mark Williams reeled off five straight frames to complete a 10-4 win over qualifier Sam Craigie in setting up a Crucible classic showdown with old rival John Higgins in the last 16 of the World Championship. Williams has vowed to go for his shots against the Scotsman, three years after edging out Higgins 18-16 in the 2018 final in Sheffield.
Mark Williams did not have things all his own way in the opening session of his match with Sam Craigie
Mark Williams insists he will go for his shots against old rival John Higgins in the last 16 of the World Championship even if it means looking like "an absolute donkey".
Williams faces Higgins for the first time at the Crucible since the Welshman completed an 18-16 victory over his old rival in the 2018 final on his way to ending a 15-year wait for his third world title.
The 23-times ranking event winner is feeling positive about the condition of his game after winning the final five frames in a 10-4 victory over qualifier Sam Craigie that included breaks of 94, 85, 76, 73, 53 and 52.
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"Tonight I played really well to be honest. Every part of my game was strong and I kept him under pressure," said Williams, who turned professional in the same year as Higgins and fellow world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan as part of snooker's fabled 'Class of '92'.
"I don’t think he did much wrong tonight to be honest. The first session was a bit scrappy. For me to come out with a 5-4 lead, I was very happy. I thought I was really solid tonight."
Williams first faced Higgins in the last 64 of the Thailand Open in 1994 when he completed a 5-4 victory. He is relishing locking cues with the four-times world champion in the first session of their best-of-25 frame clash on Friday afternoon.
“I’m looking forward to facing John Higgins," he said.
"I’ve lost count of how many times we have played. We’ve had so many good games here. Close ones, I’ve beat him, he’s beat me.
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"The final I played him was probably the best match of my life, just because of the standard, the atmosphere and the drama at the end. This one isn’t going to be as good, but I’m going to enjoy it, win or lose.
“I can guarantee you I won’t be frightened of the occasion.
I will be going for some pots that if they go in, I will look a million dollars. If they don’t, I will look like an absolute donkey. I’m happy with that. I don’t play the game to worry about what people say I should or shouldn’t go for.
"If I think it is the right shot, I will go for it.”