Mark Williams adamant he cannot win fourth world title despite last-eight date

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PA Sport Staff
·3-min read
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Mark Williams insists he cannot win the Betfred World Championship despite powering past John Higgins 13-7 to reach the Crucible quarter-finals.

The 46-year-old Welshman made short work of old foe Higgins on Saturday night, booking his place in the last eight with half a session to spare.

Williams will meet the winner of Mark Selby and Mark Allen, and immediately installed either opponent as the favourite for the next Crucible tie.

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The three-time world champion pledged to “go out on my shield” by playing aggressive snooker, revealing that no-fear approach has him enjoying the sport more than ever.

“It’s a massive victory; for me and a lot of others, John is the second-best player ever,” said Williams.

“It’s a great win for me, he’s still one of the best players in the world.

“What do you want me to say, ‘I think I can win it’? I don’t think I can.

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“Whoever I play is going to be favourite. I honestly don’t care who I play, I’m just enjoying myself.

“I’ve never been afraid to lose. A lot of people playing are more afraid of losing than pushing to win.

“I’ll go out on my shield playing some of the craziest shots ever.

“If I think it’s the right shot, I’ll go for it. If I lose I lose, there’s no problem there.

“I haven’t got to win to prove anything any more, and the way I enjoy it is by going for pretty much everything.

“I don’t think I’m good enough to win the tournament but I think I’m certainly dangerous enough to beat anyone on my day.”

Williams also vowed to continue with his much-criticised break-off shot as he continues to insist there is nothing wrong with nudging the cue ball into the back of the reds off the bottom cushion.

Mark Williams, left, defeated old foe John Higgins with a session to spare
Mark Williams, left, defeated old foe John Higgins with a session to spare (George Wood/PA)

“I’ve been getting slaughtered for it for months, but suddenly a couple of other people do it and now it’s not such a bad break-off,” he said. “I’m not going to stop doing it.”

Shaun Murphy hit a tournament-high break of 144 en route to a 6-2 lead against Yan Bingtao.

The 2005 champion was in fine form throughout the opening session, though Bingtao pulled back with the last frame of the evening.

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Neil Robertson said he has carried forward his momentum from a successful Tour Championship after he beat Jack Lisowski to reach the quarter-finals.

The Australian, leading 9-7 overnight, produced breaks of 126, 87 and 70 as he wrapped up a 13-9 second-round victory.

Robertson has only reached the semi-finals once since winning his only world title in 2010 – but he has looked in good form in Sheffield this year.

Neil Robertson believes he is carrying his momentum from his successful Tour Championship campaign
Neil Robertson believes he is carrying his momentum from his successful Tour Championship campaign (George Wood/PA)

“The Tour Championship was certainly the best I’ve ever performed in an event, certainly from start to finish,” he said.

“I’ve kept that momentum going into the first two rounds here, but the form and results don’t really matter – it’s all about what I do in my next match.

“I’ve got to forget about playing well or anything and just prepare as well as I have done.”