Former World Champions Ronnie O’Sullivan and Ken Doherty collide in the qualifying round of the International Championship in Tianjin on Sunday.
The second meeting between the popular pair this season will see him face off for the right to take on Mark Joyce in the Last 64 at the Tianjin People’s Stadium.
The match is one of eight qualifying ties to have been held over to the main venue and is one of the stand-out fixtures of the opening day.
O’Sullivan stormed to a 5-1 victory at this stage of the Wuhan Open last month and has won seven consecutive games against Doherty stretching back 20 years.
O’Sullivan’s tournament appearances have almost exclusively all come in China this season, with the exception of a Third Round exit at the English Open on home soil in Essex.
The world number one retained the Shanghai Masters invitational title in September and was a quarter-finalist at the Wuhan Open, before withdrawing from the recent Northern Ireland Open.
The seven-time World Champion is making a fifth appearance in the International Championship – a first since 2017 – with a run to the Quarter-Finals in 2014 marking his best display to date.
Doherty will be determined to end his 20-year winless run against ‘The Rocket’ and pick up a rare win of late to kick-start his campaign.
The 1997 World Champion has not been beyond the Last 64 stage of any ranking event so far this season, losing eight of his 12 matches contested.
The veteran Irishman, currently world ranked 76, is also without a win in five previous appearances in the International Championship.
The match gets under way from 11.30am GMT and will be contested over the best of 11 frames.
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