UK Championship 2018: Victorious Mark Williams ‘not bothered’ about snooker

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UK Championship 2018: Victorious Mark Williams ‘not bothered’ about snooker
UK Snooker Championship: Mark Williams hits 124-break on way to win

World champion Mark Williams says he is “not bothered” about snooker after thrashing fellow Welshman Daniel Wells 6-0 to reach the third round of the UK Championship in York.

Williams, twice a winner of the event, made two centuries and two 60 breaks.

“If someone says to me do I have a chance to win this, I would say probably not,” Williams told BBC TV.

“I’d love to win more tournaments. I am trying to win this one but if I don’t I am more than happy with my career.”

Three-time champion John Higgins hinted he would retire at the end of the season after being beaten 6-5 by fellow Scot Alan McManus.

Higgins was far from his best and failed to make a single break over 50 as he fell 3-1 behind, before scrapping his way to a 5-3 advantage.

But McManus won three on the trot and closed out the match in cool fashion with a composed 85 break.

A distraught Higgins said afterwards: “I could not care less, I am proper [bad] at this game. I am fudging about making 30 breaks – it is garbage.

“It is a big worry. I am nearly at the end of my time in this game. I need to have a big think at the end of the season. I cannot put myself through this and you will not get anywhere in this game doing that.”

Asked if it was the worst he had ever felt, Higgins replied: “Yes.”

Best shots: Alan McManus beats John Higgins in second round

‘I am more than happy with my career’

Mark Selby’s shock first-round exit in the tournament means 43-year-old Williams can reclaim the world number one ranking if he goes on to triumph in York – although he said he “does not want it”.

Williams has adopted a relaxed attitude since winning a thrilling third world title in Sheffield last May, saying he has practised very little in the past six months.

Yet that lack of table time has not stopped the Welshman from claiming a 22nd ranking title – at the World Open in August – and in York Williams made Wells pay for errors, including in the third frame, when he cleared up with 67 after his opponent had made a break of 58.

“That is the best I have played since the World Open,” said Williams.

“I had two days’ practice in the club before I came up here. I have probably been in the club 10 times since the World Championship.

“I am not bothered, I am still enjoying myself. I have not missed so many tournaments in my career. At the time I said I was going to enjoy winning the World Championship and I still am.

“I have had more holidays in the last year than in the last 20. Snooker is getting in the way. I am having the time of my life. This is my last tournament until the Masters – I am going on holiday.

“I am honest, I don’t even want to be number one. If it comes, it comes. Selby can keep it.”

Best shots as Wilson makes it through to third round

Williams faces either Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham or Englishman Rod Lawler in the next round.

Elsewhere, there were wins for two-time champion Neil Robertson, 2004 winner Stephen Maguire and Jack Lisowski.

Among the results in the evening matches, English Open winner Stuart Bingham edged out Norwegian world number 54 Kurt Maflin 6-5 and Kyren Wilson beat Mike Dunn 6-2

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