Mark Williams not interested in snooker's top spot ahead of UK Championship second round

Mark Williams with his third world title
Mark Williams with his third world title

Mark Williams insists he "could not care less" about the prospect of reclaiming the world number one spot following Mark Selby's stunning defeat to unranked amateur James Cahill at the UK Championship.

Cahill's 6-3 success, which he wrapped up with a stunning long pink just past midnight on Friday morning, left Selby's seven-year hold on the year-ending top spot looking increasingly precarious.

World champion Williams, who opened his account in York with a 6-2 win over Adam Duffy, will return to the number one position for the first time since 2011 if he goes on to win the tournament.

But Williams, who has made no excuses for his relaxed attitude to the sport since his remarkable win in Sheffield in April, says he has no desire to once again become snooker's leading light.

Referring to Ronnie O'Sullivan, Williams said: "It's something I'm not interested in whatsoever. We all know who is the best player in the world and he just doesn't enter as many tournaments.

"To be honest, I don't even want it. I've been practising so little I don't even know if it's still the same carpet in my club. If I don't win another tournament I'm happy - it's still going to be a party."

For Cahill, career goals remain much more important as he prepares for his second-round match on Saturday against his occasional practice partner, Sunny Akani.

Despite being only 22, Cahill has already endured a rollercoaster career, beating Ding Junhui on his way to the fourth round of the same tournament as an 18-year-old in 2014, before a form lapse so severe it left him questioning his future.

Cahill only got into this year's Championship due to withdrawals among the 127 world-ranked players, and is reliant on help from parents and sponsors as he battles to regain the tour card he lost last year.

Cahill said: "I used 11 different cues in my last season on the Tour and I was all over the place, so I needed a break. I'm convinced I'm good enough to compete with the best and I need to start showing that."

Cahill, a former nephew of Stephen Hendry, who was once married to his aunt, added: "It's hard to play full-time when you don't have a job. But I've got some good people behind me now and I can start looking to the future."

Selby was the second big name to crash out before the televised stages, with another former world champion, Shaun Murphy, having exited the tournament on Wednesday.

With his top ranking now in jeopardy, Selby said: "One of my aims is to stay there as long as possible. But it's going to happen at some stage, and if it's the end of this season, so be it."

Related snooker links

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read

Gareth Jones predicts the outcome of the Rugby World Cup semi-finals1

World Cup: Semi-final predictions

Gareth Jones previews the semi-finals of the Rugby Union World Cup as northern and southern hemisphere go head-to-head.

Sporting Life's preview of Sheffield United v Arsenal2

Blades to strike on Monday night

Sheffield United welcome Arsenal to Bramall Lane on Monday night. Tom Carnduff picks out two best bets at attractive prices.

Scroll down to watch the Sky Sports panel discuss Manchester United's striker problems3

Watch: Keane wades in

Gary Neville and Graeme Souness were involved in a heated discussion about Manchester United's striker problems until Roy Keane waded in with a simple solution.

Check out the latest daily racing preview4

Monday's racing preview

He's A Keeper can provide the key to the Silver Tankard Stakes at Pontefract, according to Keith Hamer.

Santini wins at Newbury5

No Ladbrokes Trophy for Santini

Nicky Henderson has ruled the Ladbrokes Trophy out for Santini, with a run at Sandown on the cards instead.

Most Read

Gareth Jones predicts the outcome of the Rugby World Cup semi-finals1

World Cup: Semi-final predictions

Gareth Jones previews the semi-finals of the Rugby Union World Cup as northern and southern hemisphere go head-to-head.

Sporting Life's preview of Sheffield United v Arsenal2

Blades to strike on Monday night

Sheffield United welcome Arsenal to Bramall Lane on Monday night. Tom Carnduff picks out two best bets at attractive prices.

Scroll down to watch the Sky Sports panel discuss Manchester United's striker problems3

Watch: Keane wades in

Gary Neville and Graeme Souness were involved in a heated discussion about Manchester United's striker problems until Roy Keane waded in with a simple solution.

Check out the latest daily racing preview4

Monday's racing preview

He's A Keeper can provide the key to the Silver Tankard Stakes at Pontefract, according to Keith Hamer.

Santini wins at Newbury5

No Ladbrokes Trophy for Santini

Nicky Henderson has ruled the Ladbrokes Trophy out for Santini, with a run at Sandown on the cards instead.

Racing Tips

Sporting Life's NAP of the day

Daily Nap: Eden delights

Matt Brocklebank is backing David Pipe's star bumper performer to get off the mark at the first time of asking over obstacles at Exeter.

Check out the latest daily racing preview

Monday's racing preview

He's A Keeper can provide the key to the Silver Tankard Stakes at Pontefract, according to Keith Hamer.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette celebrate a goal for Arsenal in Valencia

Sporting Life Tipping Record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in October 2019.

Next Race Off

18:45 Graignes
13
(0)
Figov De La Cloue
J: Cl Chabrun
5
(0)
Fortuno De Viette
J: Mlle L Planchenault
3
(0)
Fleur Du Guelier
J: V Nail-rocher

Football Tips

Sporting Life's preview of Sheffield United v Arsenal

Blades to strike on Monday night

Sheffield United welcome Arsenal to Bramall Lane on Monday night. Tom Carnduff picks out two best bets at attractive prices.

The latest Sporting Life football Accumulator

Sporting Life Accumulator

We have a midweek Sporting Life Accumulator with action in the Sky Bet EFL. A four-fold enhanced to 22/1 with the league sponsors.

Check out Tuesday's Champions League preview and best bets

Tuesday's Champions League tips

The third matchday of the Champions League group stages takes place this week. George Pitts looks ahead to Tuesday's action.