Neil Robertson and Kyren Wilson meet for the third time this season as the Players Championship commences in Wolverhampton on Monday.
Ranked fourth and fifth in the world respectively, the pair headline the opening night’s action at Aldersley Leisure Village, where the top 16 players on the one-year list will compete for the top prize of £125,000 in the second instalment of this season’s Cazoo Series.
Robertson is a three-time finalist in the elite event – most recently to Ronnie O’Sullivan in 2019, when the Rocket completed a 10-4 victory with the 1,000th century of his illustrious career.
The Australian, who turns 40 on Friday, will be looking to go one step better this year and claim his third title of the season, having already landed the English Open and Masters crowns.
He was beaten 6-2 by Wilson when the pair met in the quarter-finals of last year’s competition, before the Warrior was thumped 6-1 by an inspired John Higgins. Although, his two victories in 2021 are the only ones he has registered in seven matches in the event dating back to 2016.
The former World finalist is seeking his maiden silverware of the campaign, having reached the last four at the Champion of Champions and UK Championship.
Wilson overcame Robertson 6-4 in the quarter-finals of the former event, avenging his 5-4 reverse when they collided at the same stage of the English Open.
Elsewhere, Mark Williams takes on Gary Wilson in a repeat of this season’s British Open final, which the Welshman won 6-4.
Seeded fourth having also reached the Shootout showpiece, three-time World champion Williams is aiming to avoid a third successive first-round exit from this event, having lost to Mark Selby in each of the last two years.
Meanwhile, Wilson has not been past the last 32 of any tournament since narrowly losing out at the British Open, and he was thumped 4-0 by Marco Fu at the 2014 Players Championship Grand Final – his only previous appearance in this event.
Play gets underway at 7pm GMT on Monday with all matches contested over the best of 11 frames at Aldersley Leisure Village in Wolverhampton.
Players Championship Snooker 2022 Schedule
Monday February 7
Neil Robertson 6-4 Kyren Wilson
Mark Williams 6-3 Gary Wilson