Reigning champion Judd Trump and former champion Mark Allen face off in the Group One final of the 2022 Champion of Champions in Bolton on Wednesday.
Trump claimed this title for the first time 12 months ago with victory over John Higgins in the final and is out to become the first player since Ronnie O’Sullivan in 2014 to successfully retain the crown.
The world number three has been an ever-present in the Champion of Champions since its inaugural staging back in 2013 and has finished runner-up on a further two occasions.
Trump’s season has yet to catch fire, however, with a Quarter-Final run at the European Masters in August representing his best showing so far.
He suffered a shock First Round exit to Aaron Hill at the recent Northern Ireland Open and but bounced back strongly with a 4-2 victory over Scottish Open winner Luca Brecel on Wednesday afternoon.
Allen, meanwhile, headed into this tournament riding the crest of a wave after retaining the Northern Ireland Open title on home soil in Belfast last week.
Prior to that, a new-look ‘Pistol’ finished runner-up in the British Open and appears to have a new lease of life around the table.
Champion of Champions winner two years ago and runner-up in 2015, Allen boasts a fine record in this competition and started superbly again this afternoon by defeating Joe Perry 4-2 with high breaks of 118, 110 and 97.
Another high-scoring encounter can be expected between two of the sport’s most fluent break-builders as they collide for the 23rd time.
Allen has won 12 of their previous meetings, the most recent of which a 4-3 success in this season’s British Open, and they have shared one Semi-Final win apiece in the 2019 and 2020 Champion of Champions.
Their latest show-down gets under way from 7pm GMT and will be contested over the best of 11 frames.
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