Mark Williams aims to avoid becoming Alexander Ursenbacher’s latest scalp when they collide at the Northern Ireland Open on Monday.
Swiss number one Ursenbacher has already proven his ability to produce a shock this season, having defeated Ronnie O’Sullivan 4-1 in the opening round of the British Open last month.
And the world number 64 has fond memories of the Home Nations series, in which he has registered the only two ranking event quarter-final appearances of his career.
Indeed, Ursenbacher enjoyed a wonderful run to the English Open semi-finals in 2017, before beating Stuart Bingham and Mark Allen on the way to reaching the last eight of this event in Belfast two years later.
However, the 26-year-old has won just one of the 10 frames he has played against Williams – although you must go back to the 2018 English Open for their most recent meeting.
The Welshman is a former Northern Ireland Open champion, having ended his six-year wait for ranking silverware when he defeated Yan Bingtao 9-8 in the 2017 final at the Waterfront Hall.
Williams’ latest quest for a second title began with a hard-earned 4-2 victory over Peter Lines on Sunday, and he has plenty of incentive this week with a place in the Champion of Champions at stake.
Even if he was to not go all the way to the title, the world number eight would still snatch the final place in the prestigious invitational event as one of the highest-ranked non-tournament winners should the Alex Higgins trophy be lifted by a player that has already qualified.
The winner of this match will play either Andy Hicks or Jimmy Robertson in the last 32 of the Northern Ireland Open.
Play gets underway at around 8pm BST on Monday with the match contested over the best of seven frames at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast.
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