Welshman Mark Williams is hell-bent on landing a third snooker World championship title after setting up a second-round meeting with Jamie Cope on Sunday after seeing off fellow Welshman Ryan Day 10-5.
Williams, champion in 2000 and 2003, now stands second in the world rankings just three years after falling out of the top 16.
“I'm quietly confident. I'm playing all right, I'm scoring all right, and my all-round game is good,” said Williams, whose second round rival scored a 10-7 victory over Crucible debutant Andrew Pagett.
“All I ever say is that I'm going to be tough to beat and a handful for anyone really,” said Williams.
“I'm playing nowhere near where I was in 2003, and don't think I'll ever play that well again. That's probably my peak.”
But Williams also said he believes three-time winner Ronnie O'Sullivan may be the man to beat — as long as he turns up and can find some form.
“No one knows if he's going to turn up, do they? He's in, he's out, he's retired, he's out of retirement. No one knows what's going through his head. If he turns up and gives it 100 per cent, for me he's the one to beat.”
China's Ding Junhui cruised into the second round after a 10-2 win over Scotland's Jamie Burnett, while 2008 runner-up Ali Carter, saw off Dave Harold 10-3.
Harold joked on hearing his beloved Stoke City had reached its first ever FA Cup final that “I've got to be the happiest first-round loser in the history of the Crucible because my team won 5-0, so that's cheered me up.”
Ding, meanwhile is among the title favourites and the Masters champion looks in the mood to justify his billing on the evidence of this emphatic start to the tournament.
First round: Mark Williams (Wal) bt Ryan Day (Wal) 10-5, Ali Carter (Eng) bt Dave Harold (Eng) 10-3, Ding Junhui (Chn) bt Jamie Burnett (Sco) 10-2. — AFP
Keywords: snooker World championship