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World title for Mark Williams

Sheffield: Welshman Mark Williams held off Ireland’s Ken Doherty to win his second world snooker title with an 18-16 victory on Monday.

Williams, who saw his form dip after lifting the trophy three years ago, said he would not make the same mistake again.

“I went down a steep road and it took me a while to get back up the steep road,” he said.

“I never practised as much and took things too easy because I was world No. 1 and world champion. But I’m going to work even harder next year because I’m determined to stay on the top of the hill.”

Williams held off a brave challenge from Doherty to win snooker’s premier tournament.

Doherty fought back from 11-5 down to level at 12-12 going into the final session. But Williams held his nerve to secure victory and bank a cheque for £270,000 ($433,300).

“I knew he was going to come back at me,” said Williams. “At 11-8 it was like I was playing with a different arm and I was so glad to end the session at 12-12 because I bottled it when he was coming back.”

Williams admitted to a sense of relief at finally getting over the line.

“Towards the end it could have gone either way because Ken didn’t do much wrong,” added the 28-year-old. “It’s so hard out there and I’m just over the moon.”

Doherty can take much credit for some battling performances throughout the championship.

“I could have been going home two weeks ago,” he said. “I had a really good run and it’s great to have come through some tough battles.

“As long as there’s hope you never give up. I came back well and gave myself every chance. When I was coming back I thought I was going to do it, I really did.

“I gave it everything and it’s disappointing to be going home without the Cup.”

Williams won a frame at the start of the final session.

But he failed to pot a straight forward red in the next frame and Doherty compiled a 92 break to level at 13-13.

Williams regained the lead with a break of 87, but he allowed Doherty make it all square again after missing the yellow in the following frame.

A break of 120 from Williams saw him go back in front at 15-14 and he then moved two frames clear when Doherty failed to capitalise on a missed red.

Doherty revived his hopes by winning the 31st frame after Williams missed a blue and drew level again with a superb 112 break.

The mounting pressure was apparent in frame 33, with a series of errors from both players before Williams came on top. Williams sealed victory in the following frame, following a foul from Doherty, with a break of 77.

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