World Snooker Championship 2018: Mark Williams still trails Barry Hawkins in semi-final

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Mark Williams is a two-time world champion having taken the title in 2000 and 2003
2018 World Championship
Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 21 April – 7 May
Coverage: Watch live across BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Red Button, Connected TV, the BBC Sport website and mobile app.

Two-time winner Mark Williams remains two frames behind Barry Hawkins, trailing 13-11 after the third session of the World Championship semi-final.

Former finalist Hawkins led 9-7 overnight and took Saturday’s opening frame with a century – but Williams won three in a row to level at 10-10.

Williams made a century to make it 12-11 and could have gone all-square, but missed a black as Hawkins capitalised.

They will play to a conclusion from 19:00 BST at the Crucible in Sheffield.

In the other semi-final, John Higgins resumes 13-11 up on Kyren Wilson at 14:30 BST.

Four-time champion Higgins, looking to win the title for the first time since 2011, needs to win four more frames to reach his second successive final.

Hawkins edging battle of the left-handers

The match between Hawkins and Williams has been a high-quality battle and the superb standard of snooker increased even further in a dramatic third session.

Hawkins, runner-up to Ronnie O’Sullivan in 2013, looked to be edging in front again when 44 ahead in the 20th frame, but broke down as Williams made a cool 68 to level the contest.

But the Ditton player has one of the best records at the Crucible in recent years, reaching at least the last four in five of the past six years.

He showed his class by going 12-10 up, including a slick 133 break, but the 24th frame may prove to be a key moment as Welshman Williams made 50 but missed a black off the spot – allowing Hawkins to compile a fine 73 to keep his two-frame lead.

Analysis

Former Masters champion Alan McManus on BBC TV

That was amazing. We have been asking: why does Barry Hawkins love playing at the Crucible? You have the answer this morning.

There has been pressure galore on every shot, Mark Williams has given him all sorts of problems to deal with and he has all the answers. He is the immovable object.

In that last frame, Williams played a brilliant red into the middle pocket but probably relaxes and missed the black.

Hawkins’ technique came in to play after that and you knew he was going to win the frame. Under the circumstances, that was pure class.

On the evidence of what we have seen, it is going to be so difficult for Williams to overhaul this deficit.

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