Mark Williams: World champion knows success hard to top

By Gareth BlaineyBBC Wales Sport
Mark Williams, Williams family and World Championship trophy
None of Mark Williams' children were born when he won his first or second world titles

As the new snooker season starts, world champion Mark Williams says it will be "difficult" to match his "unbelievable" achievement last season.

Williams won his third world title in Sheffield in May, a remarkable 15 years after he last lifted the trophy.

His success came just a year after he considered retiring following his failure to qualify for the Crucible.

"The last two months have been great... I've had quite a few beers, I have really enjoyed it," he said.

"I haven't got any aims for this year," he continued. "What happened last season was unbelievable and I am probably not expecting it to happen again if I am honest.

"I'm going to try my best like I always do, just enjoy it, see what happens and not worry about anything."

Williams captured public attention for not just winning a third world title at the age of 43, but for keeping his word about conducting a naked press conference if he won.

And Williams still laughs as he recalls his most awkward interview.

"It was a bit of fun, if I happen to win it again, I'll have to come up with something better I suppose," he joked.

The Welshman says he was particularly pleased his three sons and wife Joanne were at the Crucible to watch Williams beat John Higgins 18-16 in the final.

None of Williams' children were even born when he won his second title in 2003, but Conor, Kian and Joel were all in attendance in Sheffield.

"I've watched clips of it back where my family were up in the balcony cheering and enjoying it," Williams explained.

"That's the best thing to be honest. I'll definitely want them there when I get introduced next year as the defending world champion. It's something to treasure and I'll want them all there to see it."

The snooker season starts at the Riga Masters in Latvia on Friday, 27 July.

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