Ronnie O’Sullivan begins his quest for an eighth UK Championship title with a clash against Michael White in Round One in York on Wednesday.
O’Sullivan is the record seven-time UK Champion and is bidding to claim his first ranking title since the 2020 World Championship.
The Rocket, who most recently lifted this trophy in 2018, was a semi-finalist in the recent English Open and quarter-finalist in last week’s Champion of Champions – losing out to rival John Higgins on both occasions.
The number four seed made his UK Championship debut back in 1992 and became the youngest winner of a ranking event at the age of 17 years and 358 days when he triumphed the following year – a record that still stands today.
O’Sullivan has never lost in the opening round since the UK Championship reverted to a 128-player format and aims to protect that record by overcoming two-time ranking event winner White.
White comes into the event as an amateur top-up, having dropped off the tour in 2020 and narrowly missing out on the Q School Order of Merit by only a few points this summer.
The 30-year-old reached the Quarter-Finals on his World Championship debut in 2013 and went on to lift the Indian Open and Paul Hunter Classic titles in 2015 and 2017 respectively.
The Welshman is making his tenth consecutive appearance in the UK Championship, with his best run to date coming in 2019 – when he reached the Last 16.
White has lost all four of his previous meetings with ‘The Rocket’, including a 6-1 drubbing here in 2017 – when O’Sullivan went on to claim the title.
Their latest encounter gets under way from 7.30pm GMT and will be contested over the best of 11 frames.
Former ranking event semi-finalist Robbie Williams awaits the winner in the Second Round.
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