Judd Trump and Ronnie O’Sullivan go head to head in a mouth-watering first-round clash at the Players Championship on Tuesday.
The pick of the ties in the opening round of the elite 16-man event sees the two-time champions – and two of the game’s most naturally gifted players – collide in what promises to be a hugely entertaining encounter at Aldersley Leisure Village in Wolverhampton.
Between them, Trump and O’Sullivan have won four of the five editions of this event since its renaming in 2017.
That year, the Ace prevailed 5-3 when they met in the quarter-finals, with the Rocket exacting his revenge in the last four 12 months later.
There are two other former champions in action; Mark Allen and Barry Hawkins.
Allen lifted the Players Championship Grand Final trophy in 2016. The Pistol, who missed last year’s event, faces Northern Ireland Open and German Masters semi-finalist Ricky Walden in a repeat of that final, which he won 10-6.
Meanwhile, Hawkins triumphed in 2014, defeating Gerard Greene 4-0 in the final. But the Hawk will certainly have his work cut out as he prepares to take on the rampant Zhao Xintong.
Fresh from adding to his UK Championship breakthrough at the German Masters, the top seed for this week was a commanding 6-1 victor when he met his fellow left-hander in the semi-finals in York two months ago.
Meanwhile, 2020 runner-up Yan Bingtao launches his quest to go the extra step this year against Championship League winner David Gilbert.
The Tiger is also looking to record his third straight victory over Gilbert this season; most recently prevailing 5-3 when they clashed at the Tempodrom a fortnight ago.
Play gets underway at 1pm GMT on Tuesday with all matches contested over the best of 11 frames at Aldersley Leisure Village in Wolverhampton.
Players Championship Snooker 2022 Day Two Schedule
Tuesday February 8
Zhao Xintong v Barry Hawkins
Yan Bingtao v David Gilbert
Judd Trump v Ronnie O’Sullivan
Mark Allen v Ricky Walden