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Mark Williams repeats ‘idiots’ claim after destroying protege Jackson Page at Crucible

Williams took exception to criticism from Stephen Hendry over his close relationship with his opponent and protege Page at the 2022 World Championship at the Crucible

Mark Williams was quick to call those who criticised his methods as 'idiots'
Mark Williams was quick to call those who criticised his methods as ‘idiots’

Mark Williams has doubled down on his “idiot” jibe after he was criticised for practicing with the man he was due to face at the World Snooker Championship.

The Welshman was drawn against his close friend and protege Jackson Page in the second round of the tournament. Despite their impending meeting, they were spotted practicing together at the Crucible – an unusual move for two players about to face off in competition.

Seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry was unimpressed and told the 20-year-old Page to “stay away” from an opponent before taking them on. But Williams did not respond well to that piece of advice, calling Hendry an “idiot” on social media.

In the end Williams showed little mercy to his protege, demolishing him 13-3 to ensure the match was over with a session to spare. After sealing progression to the next round, the Welshman doubled down on his assessment of those who would question why he would practice with an opponent.

“I don’t see the problem with that,” he told Eurosport. “I’ve seen other people say I’m trying to get in his head and stuff like that. Whoever thinks that is (sic) just idiots. If you think I’m trying to get in to Jackson’s head to try and win a match, you are an idiot!”

Williams has previously described Page as “not just a friend, more like my fourth son”, which Page admits makes him beam with pride. “I’m proud, definitely – they’re nice words for Mark to say,” he said. “Apart from practising together obviously, we go for food, play golf, have a game of cards, bingo. We have a good laugh – it’s been like that for years.”

Mark Williams destroyed his protege Jackson Page at the World Snooker Championship



His personal relationship with Page did not stop him from securing that dominant victory, but it did leave the three-time world champion feeling slightly remorseful for how one-sided the match was. “Yeah, I’ve won by that scoreline before. I’m over the moon I won but I didn’t want to see that kind of scoreline, he added.

“Obviously I wanted to beat him but there was a couple of times I was actually egging him on to make a couple of breaks because I was that far in front. I was there last year when I lost with a session to spare so I know how it feels. I suppose it’s a good learning lesson. You’ve got to bounce back from it.”

Williams has now sealed a place in the quarter-finals, but could be saddled with the task of coming up against the defending champion. Either Mark Selby or Yan Bingtao will meet the Welshman in the last eight.

Watch complete live coverage of the Snooker World Championships across discovery+, Eurosport and Eurosport app.

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