The 37-year-old Welshman appeared chastened by the crowd's reaction as he walked into the arena for his first-round clash at the Betfred.com World Championship.
Williams, world champion in 2000 and 2003, condemned the Sheffield theatre as a "shxt hole" in a Twitter tirade on the eve of the tournament last Friday, for which he is certain to be fined.
Williams said he hoped the tournament would move to China.
His comments were described as "absolute lunacy" by World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn, and at least a quarter of the audience announced their disgust when Williams strode out.
Referee Olivier Marteel had to hush the crowd to allow MC Rob Walker to introduce Williams' compatriot Dominic Dale, who was taking on Judd Trump on the other table.
Williams then dropped the opening frame to Liu, before hauling himself level.
The morning crowd were also central to the story of Chinese potter Ding Junhui's defeat at the hands of Ryan Day, another Welshman.
Ding accused fans of disrupting his concentration by calling out at key points, although it appeared the player, who reached last year's semi-finals, only had himself to blame for letting a 9-6 lead slip away to lose 10-9.
Ding said: "It was all rubbish.
"I don't think I played well. I don't think the table's right. I don't think the fans are right. All rubbish. Rubbish fans.
"I was concentrating on the game and they kept shouting out. How can they do that?
"People say that Chinese fans are no good. Okay but then I come here and what do they do?"
Ding became the seventh of the 16 seeds to bow out of the tournament, as former world number six Day took advantage of an unexpected chance in the final frame, when his opponent seemed certain to clear up.
The 32-year-old from Bridgend seemed to have thrown away all his good work with one shot, taking on a long pot but missing it by a margin and scattering the reds.
Sheffield-based 25-year-old Ding missed a red with the rest after reaching 48. It was a battle of nerves and Ding's had failed him.
Day, now 35th in the world, was quickly out of his seat and a superb break of 64 gave him the match.
Asked about Ding's criticism of the crowd, Day said: "I didn't think there was any calling out at the wrong time.
"Obviously with a match like that everyone who is watching gets right behind the person they want to win, and I didn't notice there was any calling out at the wrong time."
Day was inspired by thoughts of his daughters, Francesca and Lauren, as he made his match-winning pressure clearance to the pink.
"I was concentrating on breathing properly and I was thinking about winning it," he said.
"From 9-6 down the inspiration I used was my daughters, so all the way through clearing up, I was thinking, 'Don't miss, don't miss, don't miss'.
"My brother mentioned it to me a while ago, and it's such an easy tool to try to motivate yourself."
Earlier, world number nine Graeme Dott admitted the worst defeat of his career left him briefly tempted to "chuck it".
The 34-year-old Scot, a veteran of three Crucible finals and champion in 2006, slumped to a 10-1 defeat against Joe Perry.
Dott said: "If there was ever a nightmare in snooker, that was it.
"I don't feel I can turn it around just now. I feel as if I need to chuck it if I'm playing as bad as that.
"I'm sure I'll come back and play okay again, but I've no idea why I played as bad as that.
"I just wanted out. I couldn't pot a ball, I couldn't hit the white. If you told me to hit the white in the last frame I'd have probably missed it."
Cambridgeshire cueman Perry, 37, goes on to play Glaswegian Stephen Maguire in the last 16.
Trump squeezed through against Dale, winning 10-7.
Last year's runner-up had been ill, with suspected food poisoning, and was off colour on Tuesday but managed to edge 5-4 ahead.
Trump was still not feeling 100% on Wednesday and fell behind early on, but he found enough in his reserves to fend off Dale, potting a tricky black to clinch his win and a second-round clash with Ali Carter or Mark Davis.