Williams set to meet O'Sullivan
Mark Williams set up a mouth-watering second-round Crucible clash with Ronnie O'Sullivan after completing victory over Liu Chuang.
Two-time former champion Williams was booed loudly by many in the crowd on Wednesday following his recent derogatory remarks about the Betfred.com World Championship venue, when he called for the tournament to be moved to China.
The heckles returned on Thursday as Williams entered the arena, but the calls from the crowd appeared to be more pantomime than vengeful, and Williams had strong support as he turned a 6-3 lead from the opening session into a 10-6 victory.
It rarely reached the levels of a serious contest against Liu, a player who beat Jimmy White and then Jamie Cope in the qualifying stage, as the champion of 2000 and 2003.
Only once Williams reached 9-3 did he stumble, and briefly it seemed a comeback was on when Liu won three consecutive frames, but the danger was soon averted.
Williams accepted his pre-tournament remarks about the venue were out of order, and the 37-year-old regretted them.
"Of course. I've already apologised to the main people I've really upset - the staff and the people in the Crucible," he said. "There's not a lot more I can do really.
"It just came out a little bit wrong. It's not one of my favourite venues, (but) once it goes down to a one-table set-up it's completely different."
Now O'Sullivan awaits Williams, an early collision between two giants of the game. Their best-of-25-frame contest starts on Saturday afternoon.
Williams has never beaten O'Sullivan at the Crucible, and has suffered three defeats to the 36-year-old three-time champion in the past six years in Sheffield.