Mark Williams and John Higgins react to Masters classic: ‘Nothing can ever top that’


John Higgins and Mark Williams enjoyed the atmosphere of Alexandra Palace (Photo: WST)

Mark Williams defeated John Higgins 6-5 in the Masters classic Thursday night, but regardless of the result, all the legends of snooker was enjoying the atmosphere at Alexandra Palace, where they both found it to be the best experience they had ever had.

The best game reached the peak of choice after a back-and-forth race, but it was Williams who crossed the line with a great 91-minute break under the most pressure.

Both men were good performers, and Higgins opened the game with a 126 break in the first round, but there were as many as the game made the game memorable.

Ally Pally’s fans were very clear and, although they had seven world titles between them and seemed to have seen it all in the game, Williams and Higgins thought it was the best place they had ever played.

It was a good game, a good time. I have never been in such a crowd, “Williams told Eurosport.

‘It made the event so special because obviously the respect between me and John is great, but when the crowd is like that, it’s not surprising.

‘To breathe as I did in the last frame as I did, under that pressure, I have to hit my back, I think.

‘I was in the bathroom and I heard them laughing, I thought,’ gee whizz ‘.

‘Then I went in and it was electric, probably the best place I’ve ever had in 30 years as a professional. There is nothing better than that. ‘

Higgins added: ‘I gave up everything with the breath he did in the final frame, he did it many times against me. Under great pressure was a breathless one.

‘What a culture! I played well but what can you do? Just running the balls sometimes, here and there. But what a night, the best place I ever played before, amazing.

‘Tonight, I enjoyed it. It hit me in my mind, as it were. What can you do?

‘What a wonderful night against an amazing player, he was so smart.’

Higgins won the first two frames before Williams released the next three, plus his break of 116.

The two could not be separated, however, they found themselves electing a Wishaw Wizard after winning the first frame.

The Scot only made one mistake in the 11th, missing a long red, with Wales coming in to make 91 appearances and win the match, a break that he learns as one of the best.

“I came out at this point, my legs and arms shaking, my heart was pounding 100 to twelve and I’m not,” Williams said.

‘I said to [friend] Lee Walker, “If I had to play any match like that, there was no way I could go on. Then I went in again and it went back to normal.

‘I’ve always stood up for myself if I ever got a chance to win in one trip. I do well as everyone in this position. Probably one of the best breaks I’ve ever done. ‘

Alan McManus in a Eurosport commentary makes it very clear, ” The atmosphere out there is pure white, but there has been a cold on this which very few players in the history of the game can do.

‘Incredible things. I am very good and at best. ‘

Williams will now face Neil Robertson in the semi-final Saturday afternoon.

MORE: Ronnie O’Sullivan ‘hopes’ Neil Robertson to win Masters after quarter-final defeat

MORE: Judd Trump describes ‘great pride’ as he ends Mark Allen’s victory with a boxing celebration

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