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By Ben Parsons at the Crucible
Mark Williams labelled Stephen Hendry an ‘idiot’ for his criticism of the Welshman’s World Championship preparations with Jackson Page.
Williams, 47, crushed his protégé and ‘fourth son’ Page 13-3 with a session to spare in a ruthless last 16 showing in Sheffield.
The three-time world champion fired six centuries to equal a second-round record at the blue-riband event.
Williams and Page are often inseparable off the table and socialised together before and in-between sessions of their one-sided Crucible clash.
Hendry couldn’t believe the pair would prepare for battle by practising, playing cards and having meals together.
The seven-time champion would famously not befriend his rivals during his prime and suggested Page should have steered clear of his mentor before the match.
But Williams shrugged off the legendary Scot in an emphatic response to his claim.
"I’ve seen some things written about me trying to get in Jackson’s head by practising with him," Williams said.
John Higgins, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Stephen Hendry.
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“If anyone thinks I’m trying to get into Jackson’s head to win a snooker match I’ll call them the same as I called Hendry: 'an idiot'.
“Why would I try to get into someone’s head to win a snooker match? It’s bizarre."
Page was completely overpowered by a near-flawless Williams on his Crucible debut.
The 20-year-old had upset world number nine Barry Hawkins to set-up the Williams match and has no regrets about preparing alongside his opponent.
“I don’t see the point in not going with him. We’re very close, couldn’t get any closer so why would I stay away from him?” Page said.
“I’m either going to win or lose either way so it doesn’t matter."
Page added: “It was ridiculous and one of the best performances he’s ever played against me.
“That was relentless and if (Williams) can keep that going I don't think anyone can get near him.”
Williams takes on defending champion Mark Selby or former Masters winner Yan Bingtao in the last eight after becoming the first player to seal his quarter-final spot.