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Five things we learned from the 2018 World Snooker Championship

Mark Williams admires the trophy (credit: Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images)

Following the conclusion of the 2018 World Championship at the Crucible on Monday, we look back at five things were learned from the latest staging of snooker’s blue-riband event.

After 17 days of excitement and high-quality snooker, the disappointment has set in and it seems like the 2019 Betfred World Championship cannot come around quickly enough.

However, before we start looking forward to next year’s spectacle, let’s recap what we learned over the last two-and-a-half weeks in Sheffield...

Kebabs and minstrels are the way forward

Mark Williams claimed his third World title after beating beat John Higgins 18-16 in a thrilling final.

It was a very popular victory for the Welshman 15 years after his most recent success.
Williams has looked rejuvenated this season and headed to the Crucible off the back of two ranking titles.

Many expected him to suffer with the effects of fatigue in the showpiece following his late-night win over Barry Hawkins in the semi-finals.

After all, he had been in a kebab shop less than 12 hours before his battle with Higgins was due to begin.

Williams was also seen tucking into some minstrels in between frames but the unusual strategy clearly worked, as he went on to lift the trophy.

Mark Williams speaks to the media naked during a press conference after winning the tournament (Photo by Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images)

Age is just a number

Williams may have won the title but it was also great to see John Higgins back in another Crucible final.

Before the tournament began, it would have been interesting to see just how many people put money on the showpiece being contested between those.

However, it happened and, aged 43 and 42 respectively, the 2018 final was played out by two players with the highest combined age in Crucible history.

Four-time champion Higgins was appearing in the final exactly two decades after lifting his maiden title, while it had been 15 years since Williams won the second of his three crowns.

An incredible story – one that could only have been written at the Crucible – and it showed that age is just a number.

John Higgins looks on from his seat (Photo by Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images)

Kyren’s time will come

The tournament was also a memorable one for Kyren Wilson, who reached the one-table set-up for the first time.

Wilson appeared in his maiden semi-final at the Crucible, having reached the quarters in two of his three previous appearances in snooker’s blue-riband event.

The Warrior fought hard against Higgins in the last four, but was just unable to bring himself level with the four-time champion.

Nevertheless, it was another impressive performance by the Kettering cueist on the biggest stage of all.

The ability to produce consistent displays on the biggest stage of all is a characteristic heavily associated with a champion, so don’t be surprised to see Wilson go the extra steps and lift the title in the near future.

Kyren Wilson prepares to enter the arena (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images)

Could Hawkins be the next Jimmy White?

Another player who has continued to knock on the door at the Crucible is the other beaten semi-finalist, Barry Hawkins.

The Hawk has now reached the semis in five of the last six years in Sheffield, but is still waiting to go the extra steps and lift the trophy.

He will have been gutted to lose against Williams, having led all the way until the scores became tied at 15-15.

Hawkins’ nice nature makes him one of the most likable players on the circuit and among snooker fans around the world.

But think of another popular left-hander that saw the World title elude him despite going so close on several occasions.

The 39-year-old will be desperate to avoid the tag of being the nearly man and finally get his hands on the trophy.

Barry Hawkins reacts (Photo by Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images)

Judd not meant to be

Meanwhile, there is a growing feeling that another talented left-hander may never lift the Crucible title.

Once again, Judd Trump will have fancied his chances arriving at Sheffield.

However, he looked shaky as he squeezed past debutant Chris Wakelin in the opening round, before his hopes were ended by John Higgins in the quarter-finals.

In all fairness, there was not much he could have done as Higgins overturned an 11-9 deficit to prevail a 13-12 winner in their epic showdown.

But the reality is that yet another year has gone by where the Ace has not done himself justice on the biggest stage of all.

Trump is still only 28 years of age but, with the standards continuing to rise and the gap being closed all the time, could he join the unenviable list of being one of the best players never to lift the World title?

Judd Trump looks on (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

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Five things we learned from the 2018 World Snooker Championship

Following the conclusion of the 2018 World Championship at the Crucible on Monday, we look back at five things were learned from the latest staging of snooker’s blue-riband event.

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