World number one Ronnie O’Sullivan takes on Mark Joyce in the Last 64 of the International Championship in Tianjin on Monday.
O’Sullivan eased his way through his held over qualifying round match against Ken Doherty on Sunday, recovering from losing the first frame to reel off six in a row for a commanding victory.
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 a month ago.
The Rocket 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.
He now comes up against world number 63 Joyce – a mainstay on the professional tour since 2006.
Joyce, whose sole ranking final appearance to date came at the 2019 Riga Masters, has endured a torrid start to the season, failing to progress beyond the Last 64 stage of any ranking tournament.
The 40-year-old has won just three of his 11 matches contested so far this term and will be cursing his luck with this draw, having seen off Andy Lee 6-3 in the qualifying round in Sheffield back in September.
Joyce has lost three of his four previous meetings with O’Sullivan, the most recent of which a 10-4 defeat in the First Round of the 2021 World Championship at The Crucible.
Their latest encounter gets under way from 11.30am GMT and will be contested over the best of 11 frames.
Either World Championship semi-finalist Si Jiahui or World Championship quarter-finalist Jak Jones will await the winner in the Last 32.
How to watch O’Sullivan v Joyce live stream
18+ | Funded account required | Geo restrictions may apply | Please Gamble Responsibly
2) Register an account, place a £10 first bet and get £30 in Free Bets* (18+ only, T&Cs apply)
3) Once registered, go to the sports homepage and select ‘Snooker’ from the left-hand menu
4) Select the play icon next to the match in progress and the stream window will appear
*18+ only. New Customers only. Bet £10* & Get £30* in Free Bets. Sign up, deposit between £5-£10* (*or currency equivalent) to your account and bet365 will give you three times that value in Free Bets when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply. Registration required. BeGambleAware.org
All matches are also available to watch live at Sky Bet. To watch, simply:
2) Register an account (18+)
3) Get £30 in Free Bets when you place ANY first bet*
4) Go to the Snooker menu and select ‘Watch Live’ next to the match in progress
*New customers only. First single or E/W bet only. 5p minimum stake. 3x £10 Bet Tokens. Free Bet Stakes not included in returns. Free Bets exclude virtuals and are non-withdrawable. Eligibility restrictions and further T&Cs apply. Begambleaware.org