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World Snooker Championship 2020 Day Nine preview and order of play: Kyren Wilson enters the fray in Sheffield

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Judd Trump survives Yan Bingtao scare to reach World Championship Quarter-Finals as Williams and Selby also progress

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Kyren Wilson closes in on World Snooker Championship quarter-finals as O’Sullivan level with Ding

Kyren Wilson kicks off his campaign (Photo by ChinaImages/SIPA USA/PA Images)

Kyren Wilson kicks off his 2020 World Championship campaign on Day Nine of the tournament as the final remaining Last 16 ties get underway at The Crucible.

Wilson has been in the unprecedented position of watching the entire First Round unfold from home, having received a bye as a result of Anthony Hamilton’s withdrawal.

The number eight seed comes into the tournament fresh, but without the crucial match sharpness gained by his rivals who remain in the field.

The Kettering ace starts out against another fellow former German Masters champion in Martin Gould – one of the stand-out performers of the week so far.

Wilson is bidding to reach a fifth consecutive Crucible Quarter-Final, but will be wary of the in-form ‘Pinner Potter’ – who thrashed Tour Championship winner Stephen Maguire 10-3 in his opener.

Gould, who defeated 2006 champion Graeme Dott in the last of three qualifying round ties to secure a Crucible return, was in danger of losing his Tour Card, but has turned his fortunes around remarkably over the past fortnight.

The former top 16 star had made just three century breaks all season prior to this event but has more than doubled that tally with four tons already in this iconic venue.

Also getting underway on Saturday morning are two of the sport’s top left-handers as Neil Robertson takes on Barry Hawkins.

Both players are renowned for producing their top form in the sport’s blue riband event, with Robertson having gone the distance a decade ago, while Hawkins finished runner-up in 2013.

Robertson defeated Liang Wenbo 10-5 in Round One and is targeting a strong run to round off an impressive season that has seen him capture the Champion of Champions, European Masters and World Grand Prix titles.

Hawkins, meanwhile, thrashed Swiss debutant Alexander Ursenbacher 10-2 in his opener and is out to continue his superb run of consistency at The Crucible.

The world number 15 has reached at least the Semi-Final stage in five of his last seven visits to Sheffield, with Ronnie O’Sullivan denying him glory seven years ago.

Hawkins notably edged out Robertson 13-12 in an epic Quarter-Final here in 2015.

Hawkins and Robertson go head-to-head (Photo by Simon Cooper/PA Images)

O’Sullivan is back in action for his second session in the afternoon as he resumes his box office show-down with Ding Junhui.

The duo are locked level at four apiece following Friday’s opening salvo which saw Ding move 3-1 up before O’Sullivan reeled off three in a row, including a trademark century, to turn the tide.

Ding edged the final frame of the session to leave the match perfectly poised ahead of a further eight frames on Saturday.

O’Sullivan has dominated this fixture down the years, winning 13 and drawing three of their 21 previous meetings.

Ding, however, won their most recent encounter in the Last 16 of the UK Championship en route to glory in York last December and has experience of downing ‘The Rocket’ in this event, having done so in the Quarter-Finals three years ago.

World number 89 Jamie Clarke aims to press home a commanding 6-2 lead over Anthony McGill when the two qualifiers resume their battle.

Clarke, the lowest ranked player in the competition, has enjoyed a dream debut so far and has seemingly picked up from where he left off in defeating fourth seed Mark Allen in Round One.

McGill is a man who knows what it takes to reach the Quarter-Finals on debut, having done so five years ago, and will look to utilise that experience to claw his way back into this contest.

The action gets underway from 10am BST, with Second Round matches to be contested over the best of 25 frames.

The first session of each match will consist of a maximum of nine frames, before being played to a finish in the second session.


World Snooker Championship 2020 Schedule

*Indicates final session

Saturday August 8

Second Round

Martin Gould v Kyren Wilson
Barry Hawkins v Neil Robertson

Anthony McGill v Jamie Clarke
Ding Junhui v Ronnie O’Sullivan

Martin Gould v Kyren Wilson
Barry Hawkins v Neil Robertson