World number one Mark Selby takes on Northern Ireland Open champion Judd Trump in a mouth-watering Quarter-Final clash at The Masters on Friday.
Selby is bidding for a fourth Masters title since landing his first in 2008, having gone on to claim glory in 2010 and 2013, while also finishing runner-up in 2009 and 2014.
His world number one ranking has come under threat for the first time in four years after a shock First Round exit at the UK Championship and ‘The Jester’ will be determined to recapture his best form at the first time of asking in 2019.
The three-time World Champion has produced his best performances in China over the past 12 months, winning the China Open and China Championship, but got off to a flier at Alexandra Palace by compiling three centuries a further two 90+ breaks in a 6-2 win over Stephen Maguire.
Any repeat of that ruthless form, which Selby himself described as “faultless snooker” could spell danger for Trump – who is looking to move a step closer to a first Masters crown to add to his UK Championship triumph in 2011.
Trump, who made his debut in the Wildcard Round a decade ago, is making his ninth appearance at The Masters and is a three-time semi-finalist.
The Bristol left-hander opened up with a crushing 6-2 victory over rival Kyren Wilson on Wednesday and now faces ‘The Jester’ in a televised tournament for the first time since 2016.
The pair cannot be separated in terms of their head-to-heads, taking five wins apiece from their ten meetings since 2008.
Among the most notable were a 6-2 win for Trump in the Semi-Finals of the 2016 European Masters en route to taking the title, while ‘The Ace’ secured his first major ranking title with a 10-8 victory over Selby in the 2011 China Open final.
Their latest encounter gets underway from 1pm GMT and will be contested over the best of 11 frames.
Either 2012 Masters Champion Neil Robertson or 2016 Masters runner-up Barry Hawkins will await the winner in Saturday’s Semi-Finals.