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Mark J Williams: Underachiever?

Postby Iranu

Mark williams has had a fantastic career. He’s one of the most successful players ever. So this question might be a bit weird but:

Has Mark Williams underachieved?

Is he really 8/14 ranking titles worse than Higgins/Ronnie respectively?

His third world title has increased his standing to somewhere close to where it should be and that’s partly why it’s my favourite thing that’s happened in snooker.

I think MJW is one of the most talented players there’s ever been. His potting, creativity and temperament are all in the very top tier of snooker history. He’s one of the best players ever to cope with the different types of game: open and attacking or tight and defensive with balls not compatible to breakbuilding. Neither fazes him. If he’d cared about centuries in his prime, and was more capable of splitting the pack, I think he’d be in the top echelons of century makers.

He’s one of the most fluid breakbuilders ever. His languid style around the table means that it goes under the radar but when on form his AST is extremely low. Even this season he’s 5th on the AST list despite being in poor form and therefore embroiled in more safety battles than at his best.

He’s also had at least two sustained periods of being in inexplicably poor form, and thrown away several matches from ahead in the last ~10 years that he should have won. If this hadn’t happened he’d probably be at Higgins/Davis level in terms of general rankers.

Re: Mark J Williams: Underachiever?

Postby D4P

Tied for 6th on the Triple Crowns list, which is pretty good especially considering that he played in the same era as the guy at the top of the list...

Re: Mark J Williams: Underachiever?

Postby Andre147

Well we can certainly say that a lot of players have underachieved, that includes Ronnie because if he had a different mindset in the 90s and some part of the 2000s I think he could have easily broken all the records with ease.

MJW is a fantastic snooker player, one of my favourite to watch, and I'm also happy he won the World Title for a 3rd, because there was always that question mark that after 2003 he never won another one and a player of his calibre deserved one final one.

Re: Mark J Williams: Underachiever?

Postby Holden Chinaski

I agree that he's an underachiever. He definitely could have won more if he had been more dedicated, in my opinion.

MJW is so good to watch when playing his best, he's one of my all-time favourites for sure. Such a great style.

Iranu wrote:He’s also had at least two sustained periods of being in inexplicably poor form

I have heard many people allude to a certain problem MJW has had in his private life that is the reason for his periods of poor form. I don't know for sure what it is, and I don't wan't to go into it, but I think most players and pundits know that MJW has had a personal problem which has been the reason for long periods of playing poorly. Like I said, I'm not sure what the problem was and I respect his privacy so I'm not going to guess. But I've seen people on forums discussing this.

Re: Mark J Williams: Underachiever?

Postby SnookerEd25


I would say not. His WC count & ranking event count could (maybe should) be higher - but he comes across to me as probably the most laid back player on the tour. Winning is nice, but isn’t everything to him; losing doesn’t seem to hurt him as much as it should.

Away from the table, he seems to have an almost perfect home & family life, and listening to his interview on Dave Hendon’s podcast, reading his Twitter feed, and assessing the almost unanimous positive comments from fans & fellow pros, I would say he has nailed it.

He has arguably had the most enviable career of any snooker player, past or present.

Re: Mark J Williams: Underachiever?

Postby SnookerEd25

Just caught up with Holden’s comments so, if correct, maybe his ‘near perfect family life’ wasn’t quite on the mark (no pun intended) from me.

I haven’t heard anything about that & my assessment was just that of a fan viewing from afar.

My personal perceptions of his drops in form was that he just didn’t really care enough to stress when things went against him, and the upturns came about due to his immense natural talent kicking in again.

Re: Mark J Williams: Underachiever?

Postby Holden Chinaski

SnookerEd25 wrote:Just caught up with Holden’s comments so, if correct, maybe his ‘near perfect family life’ wasn’t quite on the mark (no pun intended) from me..

I'm not saying it has anything to do with his family life. I don't know what it is. Maybe there was nothing, maybe it's just a rumour... Just something I remember people discussing.

I do agree that Mark has had a good career and he seems very happy with his life and family. His laid back attitude is definitely admirable.

Re: Mark J Williams: Underachiever?

Postby HustleKing

Pink Ball wrote:Two world titles would have been an underachievement. Three is about right.

22 ranking titles is about right, too.

:spot on:

Re: Mark J Williams: Underachiever?

Postby PLtheRef

The idea that a 3 time World Champion and 7 times Triple Crown event winner can be described as a potential underachiever should sound and indeed be ridiculous, but when it comes to Mark Williams there is dare it be said the argument in both camps.

The fact that Williams can win a World Championship at 43, 15 years after his previous title (by far the longest span between titles) should be the prime proof of the famous old adage that 'Form is temporary, class is permanent.' The idea that a player, who had since long be thought of as past his best could come and produce the snooker he did in those 17 days two years ago seems like it should be unrealistic, but Williams who had provoked some interest in the build up to the World Championship was simply brilliant in that event and the way he closed out that Final after suffering what should have been a huge body blow of not only missing World Championship ball but seeing arguably the greatest ever match saving - World Championship saving counter clearances from a John Higgins who from well behind had managed to level the match, and again get within one is one of the World Championships iconic recent moments.

On the flip side should Williams have achieved more? The case is certainly yes. On each occasion when the Welshman has won the World title, that peak has certainly been followed by a relative trough. Becoming World Champion and World Number 1 in 2000 saw Williams with a 12,500 ranking point lead over World Number 2 (from when 10,000 points was the World Champion's reward) yet within two years he managed to squander that lead and lose the position. A relatively disappointing defence of his World title in 2001 when he squandered a 10-6 lead over the always battling Northern Irishman Joe Swail (who admittedly had had a great run the year before to get back into the top 16) was followed by another early exit from his 2004 defence where he found himself with much to do against another World Number 16 in Joe Perry, who went on to clinch the biggest win of his career to that point.

In both cases he went off the boil to that much of an extent he had a long road back to the top to climb. Indeed, it was only that 2010/2011 season that he really showed much of the old glimpses before the glory of 2018.

The interesting thing is the going off the boil is what makes the 2018 title such a fantastic achievement.

That said, Williams seems to be happy with his lot.

Re: Mark J Williams: Underachiever?

Postby TheSaviour

I would state Mark J Williams has either underachieved or then overachieved.

Always a sound break-builder, and a very, very nice safeties from the little..

He has had some truly shocking runs. Either way, that too..

And so these are the shirt options, now. Sadly so. Has had the impact. That thing.