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. He was so unconvinced that he would return to the pinnacle of the sport that he made a promise: if he won a world title for the third time in his career, he would address the media completely naked. "I had to wear the towel on the orders of Barry Hearn (World Snooker chairman) otherwise I would just have walked in, just crying".
Scooping the Crucible crown, 15 years after his last triumph, at the age of 43 ensured Williams became the oldest victor of the tournament since fellow countryman Ray Reardon, who was 45 when victorious in 1978.
Williams has now promised to perform "naked cartwheels" if he manages to defend his world title next year.
"Actually, if I won it again next year, I'd do it again". He said of his family, during this year's tournament: "I'm sure they've enjoyed it".
"I'm over the moon - what a match to be involved in", said Williams.
"I wasn't giving in easily, and even when Mark was closing me out at 14-7, I wasn't really getting clear-cut chances and missing easy chances", he added.
Scotsman Higgins has not been at his best in this final and despite battling valiantly against his old foe, he had yet to win a session over the first three sessions until the final session when he has produced breaks of 131, 67, 82 and 62 to win the first five frames. Higgins was beaten, but he had played his part in one of the greatest Crucible finals.
'It's unbelievable. Twelve months ago I wasn't even here.
"I tried to put him under pressure tonight but it just wasn't enough". Snooker player Mark Williams fronted a press conference naked after winning a dramatic world championship final this morning.
He said afterwards: "It's unbelievable. I thought these days had all passed to be honest". The Welshman, however, held his nerve in the next frame, a break of 69 taking him over the line.
"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".