By Dan Warren and Mark Orlovac
BBC Sport at The Crucible
Williams regains his composure after the realisation sinks in
You could have cut the atmosphere with a knife in the Crucible during Monday night's final session - and that was just in the press room.
It is difficult to imagine what was going through the players' heads, although Mark Williams' entertaining post-match interview gave a fairly good insight.
The BBC's Ray Stubbs asked him how he felt when Doherty's comeback brought the scores level.
Stubbs got an unexpectedly frank response - using language direct from the lower parts of the valleys.
In summary, Williams felt the need for an urgent trip to the toilet.
It is probably a good job the match had gone on so long, taking it well past the watershed.
Ken Doherty will probably feel a little sick when he wakes on Tuesday and recalls how close he came to the world title.
Then, maybe, he will remember his £158,000 runners-up cheque, and the pain will ease a little.
He will certainly feel better than the unnamed punter who had every confidence in Ken's powers of recovery.
On Monday morning, when Ken was trailing 5-11, his odds had gone out to 12/1 - enough for one gambler to slap £15,000 on him.
With £195,000 - a sum bigger than the runners-up cheque - coming his way if Ken came good, the day's action must have been more than a little exciting for that particular punter.
And, one can only assume, the language he used when Mark Williams sealed victory was probably even worse than the Welshman's!
As one of the most talked about players of the tournament, it was apt that Ken Doherty claimed the 50th century break of the 2003 Championship.
The fifth seed fired a run of 128 in his thrilling final against Mark Williams as he made the score 8-11 after trailing 2-10 at one stage.
Doherty added one more to move clear of Paul Hunter with eight for the championship.
But their efforts were not enough to set a new record for century breaks - that remains last year's mighty tally of 68 tons.