Barry Hawkins is set to make his 17th consecutive appearance at the Crucible – a venue that tends to bring the very best out of him.
The Hawk was runner-up to Ronnie O’Sullivan in 2013; while he went on to reach the semi-finals in four of the next five years.
Hawkins has failed to build on that momentum in recent times; falling in the second round in each of the last three editions of snooker’s blue-riband event.
However, the three-time ranking event winner arrives in Sheffield off the back of runs to the final of the Masters and Players Championship – where he was beaten by the red-hot Neil Robertson on both occasions.
The world number nine, who is also refreshed following a welcome break in Tenerife, launches his campaign against debutant Jackson Page on Saturday.