Kyren Wilson and Stuart Bingham renew their Masters rivalry when they collide at Alexandra Palace on Wednesday.
The first round concludes with what promises to be an intriguing battle between a former champion and finalist, with a last-eight showdown against Shaun Murphy awaiting the winner.
The pair also clashed at this stage in a thrilling encounter 12 months ago with Wilson scraping through a narrow 6-5 winner on the final pink.
Although, Bingham exacted his revenge with a 13-9 victory in the World Championship last 16 three months later, meaning he has prevailed in three of their five meetings in major events.
That included a 6-4 quarter-final triumph on the way to winning the 2020 Masters – beating Ali Carter 10-8 in an entertaining final – and completing the second part of a potential career Triple Crown.
But despite his name occupying the illustrious roll of honour, Bingham has only won three of his 11 previous last-16 encounters at snooker’s most prestigious invitational event. Although, he has reached at least the semi-finals on all three such occasions.
And the world number 14 does not arrive at Ally Pally in the best of form, with a run to the UK Championship last 16 representing his best performance of a generally modest season thus far.
As for his opponent, Wilson is third on the one-year list – behind only Mark Allen and Ryan Day – having already captured the European Masters crown this term, as well as reaching the Scottish Open quarter-finals.
The Warrior also appears to have the edge in terms of match sharpness having competed in the Championship League earlier this month, winning Group Three ahead of the likes of Mark Selby.
Play gets underway at 7pm GMT on Wednesday with the match contested over the best of 11 frames at Alexandra Palace.
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