London (AFP) – Mark Williams requires only three more frames to win his third world snooker title after taking a 15-10 lead over John Higgins in Monday’s afternoon session at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre.
The 2000 and 2003 champion from Wales started the day 10-7 up after Sunday’s opening exchange and stormed seven frames clear when taking Monday’s first four frames.
Scotland’s Higgins, 42, fought back to 14-10, only for Williams to record a break of 44 to annex the 25th frame in the best of 35-frame final.
Both players are aiming to become the oldest champion since Ray Reardon triumphed in 1978 at the age of 45.
Williams’ fine form to put himself within touching distance of another title caps a remarkable late-career revival.
He did not even qualify in 2017, and last reached the final 15 years ago, when he defeated Ken Doherty.
He nearly retired last year and did not win a ranking title for six years, but Williams has already won two tournaments this season.
Higgins is making his seventh appearance in the sport’s showpiece match and is just one title behind Ronnie O’Sullivan’s title haul of five with only Stephen Hendry and Steve Davis lifting more trophies at Sheffield’s Crucible theatre.
The final resumes at 1800GMT.