Mark Williams: ‘If I feel like I can win I’ll tell you’

The Welshman is through to the last eight for the tenth time in his career.

Mark Williams produced a strong display to see off old rival John Higgins in the last 16 of the Betfred World Snooker Championship on Saturday in Sheffield.

Williams went on a remarkable nine-frame winning streak, and took 12 out of 16 frames from 3-1 behind to comfortably overcome his fellow former world champion.

The 46 year-old will face either Mark Selby or Mark Allen in the quarter-finals, with three victories now separating him for a fourth world crown.

Higgins had been one of the pre-tournament favourites after a dominant triumph in the recent Players Championship, but aside from a few glimpses the Scot couldn’t replicate the form he showed at the Celtic Manor in February.

“I think I played really good, solid stuff all the way through it for three sessions,” Mark Williams, who won the WST Pro Series in March, said soon after completing the victory.

“From 3-1 down I can’t play much more solid and my safety was good, a few of the long balls I was potting was good – a lot of breaks, a few centuries, and I just loved every minute of it.”

“It’s unbelievable really, I played (Higgins) here probably when I was in my twenties and I’m on the other side on my way to 50 at the minute and just played him again.

“How many more years this can happen I don’t know, I’m just playing as carefree as I can and my aim is just to see how long I can stay in the top 16 for.

“If I make 50 that’s my main aim, just enjoy it along the way and try to play some good stuff, which I am at the minute.

“I probably played as good as I was in 2018 I suppose, but I’m just being honest, in 2018 when I was coming here I thought I had a great chance of winning it – I was playing some great stuff.

“I don’t feel like that this year. If I feel like I can win it I’ll tell you, but I don’t feel I can play good enough or can sustain it to win it.”

Selby, meanwhile, scored heavily and boasts a 6-2 advantage over Allen after their opening session of play, with Shaun Murphy up in similar fashion against Yan Bingtao following contributions of 109 and a tournament-high 144.

Elsewhere, Kyren Wilson edged Barry Hawkins in a close battle to reach the quarter-finals for the sixth successive season, while Neil Robertson overcame Jack Lisowski with a 13-9 scoreline.

Live coverage continues on the BBC and Eurosport.

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