Judd Trump begins his quest for a maiden Tour Championship title when he locks horns with Luca Brecel in Llandudno on Thursday.
The last of the quarter-finals at Venue Cymru promises to be another entertaining one, with the winner aiming to join John Higgins, Neil Robertson and Ronnie O’Sullivan in the semis.
Trump has been an ever-present at the elite event since its inauguration in 2019.
The Ace reached the semi-finals of the opening two editions – losing to the eventual champion on both occasions in O’Sullivan and Stephen Maguire respectively – while falling to Barry Hawkins at the first hurdle 12 months ago.
Champion of Champions glory aside, world number three Trump had endured a fairly modest 2021-22 season by his standards. But he did end his year-long ranking title drought in style; compiling a magical maximum break on the way to winning the inaugural Turkish Masters.
The Bristolian has only lost three of his 12 previous meetings with Brecel – two of those coming in the Championship League.
The Bullet effectively secured a Tour Championship debut with a rich vein of form just before Christmas.
First, Brecel enjoyed a brilliant run to the UK Championship final, where he was beaten 10-5 by an inspired Zhao Xintong. But he made amends the following week, defeating Higgins 9-5 to land the Scottish Open crown.
The Belgian has failed to progress beyond the last 16 of any ranking event since. Nevertheless, he will certainly embrace the opportunity to lock horns with Trump over a longer format and on a bigger stage.
The match gets under way from 1pm BST for a maximum of eight frames before resuming to a finish over the best of 19 from 7.30pm.
Higgins, who recovered from 8-4 down to beat Zhao 10-9, will await the winner in the Semi-Finals on Saturday.
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