‘The Rocket’ Ronnie O’Sullivan will step out on the Crucible on Saturday at 10am to start his 2021 World Snooker Championship marketing campaign in opposition to debutant Mark Joyce; world No 1 Judd Trump has been pitted in opposition to Liam Highfield
Final Up to date: 15/04/21 12:34pm
Ronnie O’Sullivan will open the defence of his World Snooker Championship title in opposition to debutant Mark Joyce on the Crucible.
Veteran Joyce, 37, turned skilled in 2006, however had by no means beforehand made it by way of to the showpiece event, securing his place with victory over Brazil’s Igor Figueiredo within the final qualifying spherical.
Elsewhere in Thursday’s draw, former champion Stuart Bingham, one other who got here by way of qualifying, will meet China’s Ding Junhui, whereas world No 1 Judd Trump performs Liam Highfield.
Ronnie O’Sullivan (1) vs Mark Joyce
Anthony McGill (16) vs Ricky Walden
Ding Junhui (9) vs Stuart Bingham
Stephen Maguire (8) vs Jamie Jones
John Higgins (5) vs Tian Pengfei
Mark Williams (12) vs Sam Craigie
Mark Allen (13) vs Lyu Haotian
Mark Selby (4) vs Kurt Maflin
Neil Robertson (3) vs Liang Wenbo
Jack Lisowski (14) vs Ali Carter
Barry Hawkins (11) vs Matthew Selt
Kyren Wilson (6) vs Gary Wilson
Shaun Murphy (7) vs Mark Davis
Yan Bingtao (10) vs Martin Gould
David Gilbert (15) vs Chris Wakelin
Judd Trump (2) vs Liam Highfield
Australian Neil Robertson is considered as a number one contender to win a second world title following a formidable marketing campaign up to now – beating O’Sullivan within the Tour Championship closing – and can tackle Liang Wenbo.
Fourth seed Mark Selby – a three-time world champion – will tackle final 12 months’s shock quarter-finalist Kurt Maflin.
This 12 months’s Masters champion Yan Bingtao will start his marketing campaign in opposition to ‘The Gouldfather’ Martin Gould, whereas 2020 runner-up Kyren Wilson meets Gary Wilson, a former semi-finalist.
Debutant Sam Craigie faces three-time former champion Mark Williams and veteran John Higgins performs Tian Pengfei as he begins the search for a fifth world crown.
5 gamers to observe in Sheffield
O’Sullivan heads to the Crucible having misplaced all 5 of the rating finals he has performed up to now this season, together with 10-3 and 10-4 thumpings by John Higgins and Neil Robertson respectively. Whereas the six-time winner mustn’t ever be written off, one senses there may very well be somebody standing in his approach who’s greater than able to denying his bid for a seventh world crown.
Two months in the past, the world No 1 would have been an unbackable favorite for a second world crown. However after sweeping to 5 rating titles this season alone, Trump has proven indicators of beginning to stutter, not least in his Tour Championship defeat to Barry Hawkins. Little doubt, on his day Trump beats anybody. However there stays a query over whether or not he can maintain that stage over two lengthy weeks.
It stays probably the most unfathomable statistics of the trendy sport that Robertson has solely made one look within the Crucible’s one-table set-up since profitable his solitary world title in 2010. Sporadically, the Australian has proven bursts of brilliance, not least in his demolition of O’Sullivan ultimately month’s Tour Championship. That efficiency alone arguably installs him as favorite to assert that long-awaited second crown.
Inconsistency and uncertainty over their capacity to deal with two weeks of long-form snooker could canine most of Higgins’ contemporaries, however no such points afflict the 45-year-old four-time winner, who has established a status because the match-player to beat all of them. Higgins’ exceptional triumph on the Gamers’ Championship in February illustrated simply how succesful he stays of marching all the best way to a fifth world title.
Selby’s most up-to-date world title in 2017 was anticipated to cue up an period of domination. As an alternative, inexplicably, he went two straight years with out profitable one other event. The Leicester man has proven indicators of rediscovering some semblance of his earlier type, not least in stretching O’Sullivan to an agonising closing body defeat in final 12 months’s Crucible semi-final. No person can be in a rush to dismiss Selby’s probabilities of making it quantity 4.
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