Ronnie O’Sullivan begins his 2022 Hong Kong Masters campaign with a clash against home favourite NG On Yee on Friday.
The reigning and seven-time World Champion will step out in front of a record crowd at the Hong Kong Coliseum to face the three-time Women’s World Champion.
O’Sullivan has featured in three events this season since equalling Stephen Hendry’s record world title tally at The Crucible in May, and is aiming to kick-start his campaign by going one better than his runner-up spot when the event was last held here five years ago.
The Rocket partnered Reanne Evans in the recent World Mixed Doubles, but the decorated duo failed to progress from the group phase after suffering two defeats from their three matches.
On Yee partnered Judd Trump to a 3-1 victory over O’Sullivan and Evans, but the pair were to finish bottom of the group.
O’Sullivan was then dumped out of the British Open 4-1 at the first hurdle by Switzerland’s Alexander Ursenbacher and will be keen to return to winning ways in Hong Kong with a strong display to boot.
The world number one last claimed an invitational title at the 2019 Shanghai Masters and was beaten 6-3 in the final by Neil Robertson in the inaugural staging of this event in 2017.
On Yee enjoyed an impressive 4-3 win over 1997 World Champion Ken Doherty to reach the Last 64 of the British Open – where she was eventually denied by former Welsh Open winner Jordan Brown.
The 31-year-old will be relishing the opportunity to compete in front of a vast home crowd as she bids to pull off what would be an astonishing upset.
The match gets under way from 12pm BST (7pm local time) and will be contested over the best of nine frames.
Either 2017 champion Neil Robertson or Mark Williams will await the winner in Saturday’s Semi-Finals.
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