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06 May 2018 by TSZ

2018 World Snooker Championship – John Higgins vs Mark Williams Final Preview

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AT A GLANCE

When is the final? Sunday 6th May – Monday 7th May 2018 (four potential sessions of 14:00 and 19:00 on each day)

Where is the final? Crucible Theatre, Sheffield

What channel is the final on? BBC Two and Eurosport 1

Where can I stream the final? BBC licence holders can stream the final online via BBC iPlayer, and Sky Sports subscribers can stream the final via Sky Go

Are tickets still available for the final? https://www.viagogo.co.uk/Sports-Tickets/Other-Sports/Snooker/Betfred-World-Snooker-Championship-Tickets

THE LOWDOWN

HEAD-TO-HEAD
John Higgins 31-20 Mark Williams (4 draws)

JOHN HIGGINS

Route to the final
R1: bt Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 10-7
R2: bt Jack Lisowski 13-1
QF: bt John Higgins 13-12
SF: bt Kyren Wilson 17-13

Tournament century breaks
7

Highest tournament break
146

  • John Higgins will contest his seventh World Championship final after coming through an enthralling semi-final with Kyren Wilson. The Scot has won snooker’s showpiece event on four previous occasions and will draw level with Ronnie O’Sullivan on five should he emerge victorious in Sheffield.
  • The ‘Wizard of Wishaw’ also reached last year’s final but was defeated 18-15 by Mark Selby, despite holding a 10-4 lead at one stage.
  • Higgins – whose last world title came in 2011 – holds a 31-20 career lead over Mark Williams and has beaten the Welshman already in 2018, albeit in a much shorter format at the Championship League.

MARK WILLIAMS

Route to the final
R1: bt Jimmy Robertson 10-5
R2: bt Robert Milkins 13-7
QF: bt Ali Carter 13-8
SF: bt Barry Hawkins 17-15

Tournament century breaks
10

Highest tournament break
140

  • Two-time winner Mark Williams has rolled back the years in the last fortnight and will be appearing in his first Crucible final for 15 years when he takes on old rival John Higgins.
  • It has been a remarkable turnaround for a man who considered retiring from the sport following his failure to qualify for last year’s World Championship. The Welshman has subsequently won two ranking tournaments this season – the Northern Ireland Open and the German Masters.
  • Williams has prevailed in two of the three occasions he has faced off with Higgins at the Crucible, with all three of those matches coming at the semi-final stage (1999, 2000 and 2011).

THE PREDICTION

At the end of a season which has been largely dominated by the old guard, it seems fitting that two legends of the sport in John Higgins and Mark Williams will battle it out for the Crucible trophy over the next couple of days. Both Class of ’92 recruits and multiple winners of snooker’s greatest prize, Higgins and Williams have shown they are still capable of performing at the highest level into their 40’s, and whoever triumphs will stand as the oldest world champion since Ray Reardon in 1978.

Both semi-finals were nip and tuck affairs, but Williams’ late-night 17-15 victory over Barry Hawkins was particularly gruelling, and in truth the Welshman fell over the line somewhat on Saturday night. The fatigue from that marathon match may well carry over into the final and Higgins is the last man Williams would want to face in those circumstances. The Scotsman has been the more consistent player throughout the two weeks and is favoured to make it five career world titles in what is likely to be another nail-biter.

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