Defending champion Judd Trump takes on Luca Brecel in the opening Group One Semi-Final at the 2022 Champion of Champions in Bolton on Wednesday.
Trump claimed this prestigious 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 will be keen to bounce back with a statement performance against the world number 11.
Brecel is making his fourth appearance in this event, having picked up the Scottish Open title last December before going on to win the Championship League ranking event at the beginning of this season.
Semi-finalist on his debut in 2017, the Belgian ace has since failed to progress from the group phase and faces a formidable opener against a player who has dominated their head-to-heads.
Trump has won eight of their ten previous meetings, including a 4-1 win in this event in 2018, though Brecel prevailed in their most recent encounter with a 10-6 triumph in the Quarter-Finals of this year’s Tour Championship.
The match gets under way from 1pm GMT and will be contested over the best of seven frames, with either Mark Allen or Joe Perry awaiting the winner in the Group One final in the evening.
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