The 2015 World Grand Prix enters the second round stage on Wednesday as the star-studded remaining 16 vie for a place in the latter stages in Llandudno.
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The short format has already put paid to the hopes of Ding Junhui, Mark Allen, Shaun Murphy and Barry Hawkins, and a clutch of in-form underdogs will be aiming to spring a surprise on a top seed in the last 16.
Another marathon double-header at the Venue Cymru plays host to all eight second round ties, with no fewer than six world title winners still in the running for the £100,000 top prize.
All eyes will be on five-time World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan as he returns to face rapid Gloucester cueist Robert Milkins in the evening session.
The Rocket held firm to overcome the gruelling Rod Lawler in his opener, but now faces a much similar opponent in terms of pace around the table, and will be out to extend his perfect record of four consecutive wins over Milkins in major ranking events.
O’Sullivan is yet to lift a trophy in 2015 and will be determined to become the first name on this inaugural silverware, while Milkins, who defeated form horse Michael White on Tuesday, has visions of tearing up the script.
Judd Trump took just 56 minutes to dispose of Dominic Dale in a whitewash win, and the young left-hander will be keen to pick up from where he left off when he faces Cambridge cueist Joe Perry.
Australian Open Champion Trump set the bar for the highest break of the week with a 140 and looks to overpower Perry with his clinical break-building to remain on course for glory.
Judd Trump of England looks on (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Reigning World Champion Mark Selby meets ‘Pinner Potter’ Martin Gould in the second evening session, with both having enjoyed commanding 4-1 victories over Michael Holt and Alan McManus respectively on day one.
Wuxi Classic Champion Neil Robertson opens up the afternoon session with a clash against Hastings ace Mark Davis, with the Aussie out to take another step closer to his first major televised title for almost ten months.
Two-time World Champion Mark Williams is the host nation’s last remaining hope in this event and bids to keep the Welsh dragon roaring by seeing off International Champion Ricky Walden.
World Seniors winner Williams has proved a revelation in 2015 so far and is bidding to reach his fourth consecutive major televised Quarter-Final, but faces a tough test against the number five seed who knocked out Ding Junhui in round one.
Former UK Champion Stephen Maguire faces a test of character against the methodical Peter Ebdon – with ‘The Force’ responsible for dumping out Shaun Murphy in a last-frame decider.
Two men who also pulled off unexpected victories collide for a last eight berth as 2006 World Champion Graeme Dott takes on China’s number three – Liang Wenbo.
Matthew Selt was in sublime form as he whitewashed former world finalist Barry Hawkins on Monday, and the 22nd seed hopes to repeat the dose on Essex rival Stuart Bingham – the Shanghai Masters king who edged out Anthony McGill 4-3.
The action gets underway at 1pm GMT, with all matches to be contested over the best of seven frames from the Venue Cymru in Llandudno.
888.com World Grand Prix match schedule
Wednesday March 18
Neil Robertson v Mark Davis (Match 21)
Matthew Selt v Stuart Bingham (Match 22)
Ricky Walden v Mark Williams (Match 19)
Joe Perry v Judd Trump (Match 20)
Robert Milkins v Ronnie O’Sullivan (Match 24)
Liang Wenbo v Graeme Dott (Match 23)
Mark Selby v Martin Gould (Match 17)
Stephen Maguire v Peter Ebdon (Match 18)