DOUBLE world champion Mark Williams is gunning to break a long-standing hoodoo by beating Ronnie O’Sullivan for the first time for TEN years at this year’s Betfred.com World Championship.
Amazingly Welshman Williams has not beaten the ‘Rocket’ in a ranking tournament since he beat him in the Thailand Masters in March 2002.
But Williams, who branded the famous Crucible Theatre as a sh*thole in Sheffield on eve of snooker’s biggest tournament is hoping this year will be his time to topple triple world champion O’Sullivan.
“I’ve been owing Ronnie one for 10 years. Let’s hope this is the time I beat him,” said Williams.
“If I said I enjoy playing him when I haven’t beaten him for 10 years, I’d probably be a liar, but you enjoy the occasion.
“He always plays well against me. The last time he didn’t play too well against me and he still beat me.
“I can’t even remember the last time I beat him – only in the qualifying competition for the Premier League.
“He always seems to play well against me so I know I’ve got to play very well this time and I know I’ve got to up my game a lot better to have any chance.”
Stephen Maguire needs to win just two frames today to secure himself a quarter-final berth. Glaswegian Maguire powered into a commanding 11-5 lead over Englishman Joe Perry in the second session of their lat 16 clash yesterday having held a 5-3 overnight lead.
Meanwhile defending champion John Higgins is on the verge of being dumped out of the tournament by compatriot Stephen Hendry.
Four-time world champion Higgins will resume his last 16 match today against his Scottish compatriot trailing 12-4.
And that means Hendry only has to win one of a possible 10 more frames to secure a coveted quarter-final place - and a likely all-Scottish showdown with Maguire in the next phase.
Amazingly Higgins’ best break was just 41 as he spent most of the evening sat in his chair as Hendry dominated throughout.