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John Higgins says he has gained more respect for legendary Crucible almost man Jimmy White following his World Snooker Championship final defeat to Mark Williams.

It's the third time the Welshman has won the championship. I had to wear the towel on the orders of Barry Hearn (chairman of World Snooker) otherwise I would just have walked in, just crying.

And true to a promise he made earlier in the tournament, the 43-year-old conducted his post-match press conference completely naked, save for a strategically placed Betfred towel to cover his modesty.

The only downside for Williams, other than getting to show off his tattoo sleeves and beach-bod, was it got all got a bit nippy in the media room.

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The 43-year-old is the oldest victor since Ray Reardon took the crown in 1978 at the age of 45.

And if he can somehow retain his title, the veteran has made an even bolder claim. So it is unbelievable to be winning this again 15 years after the last time.

Higgins said: "Today I was 13-7 behind and I was anxious if I would take it to the fourth session, I didn't want to lose with a session to spare. I watched it in a caravan with a beer", said Williams of last year's tournament, which he spectacularly failed to qualify for. This time Williams made no mistake, a break of 69 leaving Higgins needing three snookers. But Williams, who won his last world title 15 years ago, held on to secure the victory, along with a cheque for £425,000.

Runner-up John Higgins congratulated Mark Williams on his win.

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"You have to expect a comeback from John Higgins, when you are 50-60 in front he is the best at coming back".

Williams said: "It's unbelievable". I can't believe I beat him really because he's one of the best there's ever been.

Back came Williams, and a century break to go one frame away from victory suggested his nerves had settled.

All the momentum was with Higgins, who had won six of the last seven frames, and Williams desperately needed to halt the charging Scot.

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The Yankees have won eight of their last nine against a right-handed starter and eight of their last nine against a winning team. NY starter CC Sabathia tossed six scoreless frames before Chasen Shreve allowed four runs without getting an out.

"I was 14-7 behind and I just wanted to take it to a final
session - I didn't want to lose with a session to spare".


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