The draw for the 2022 Masters has been confirmed, with Yan Bingtao beginning the defence of his title against Mark Williams at Alexandra Palace.
The sport’s most prestigious invitational tournament returns to London’s Ally Pally from January 9-16 as the top 16 in the world rankings compete for the £250,000 title.
Yan came from 7-5 down to defeat John Higgins 10-8 in last year’s final in Milton Keynes and heads to Ally Pally for the first time as the number one seed.
The 21-year-old will begin the defence of his crown with a show-down against two-time Masters Champion Williams – who last claimed this title back in 2003.
Ronnie O’Sullivan, who holds the record of seven Masters titles, will start out against six-time ranking event finalist Jack Lisowski.
Reigning World Champion Mark Selby, one of four multiple Masters winners in the field, has been drawn to face four-time semi-finalist Stephen Maguire.
Judd Trump, the 2019 Masters Champion, will open up against 2018 champion Mark Allen in perhaps the most high-profile First Round tie.
Neil Robertson, the 2012 champion, takes on former World Championship semi-finalist Anthony McGill – who is making only his second Masters appearance.
Stuart Bingham, Masters champion the last time the event was staged at Ally Pally in 2020, faces 2018 runner-up Kyren Wilson.
Shaun Murphy, the 2015 champion, takes on 2016 runner-up Barry Hawkins, while two-time champion John Higgins will play newly-crowned UK Champion Zhao Xintong in a repeat of their Third Round clash in York.
The schedule of play for the 2022 Masters will be confirmed in due course.
Masters Snooker 2022 Draw
Yan Bingtao v Mark Williams
John Higgins v Zhao Xintong
Neil Robertson v Anthony McGill
Ronnie O’Sullivan v Jack Lisowski
Judd Trump v Mark Allen
Kyren Wilson v Stuart Bingham
Shaun Murphy v Barry Hawkins
Mark Selby v Stephen Maguire