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World Snooker Championship 2020 Day Three preview and order of play: Three former Crucible kings in action

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Former champion Ding Junhui in action (credit:ImagineChina/SIPA USA/PA Images)

Ding Junhui scrapes through at the World Snooker Championship as Williams and Bingham progress

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Welsh legend Mark Williams in action (credit:World Snooker)

Mark Williams vows he will never retire from snooker after lockdown re-think

O’Sullivan aims to secure a fifth Welsh Open crown (Photo by China Images/PA)

Ronnie O’Sullivan is one of three former World champions in action on day three of the 2020 World Snooker Championship in Sheffield, along with John Higgins and Neil Robertson.

The Rocket launches his record-breaking 28th consecutive Crucible campaign against Thailand’s Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in what promises to be a quickfire encounter between two of the fastest players on the tour.

Five-time champion O’Sullivan is looking to move level with Steve Davis and Ray Reardon on six world titles this year, although you have to go back to 2014 for the last time he reached the one-table set-up.

He was defeated 5-4 in his only previous meeting with Un-Nooh in a qualifier for the 2014 German Masters.

The world number 20, who reached the World Open final earlier this season, beat Dominic Dale and Liam Highfield to secure a third successive Crucible appearance, and will be looking to record his first victory in Sheffield.

World number two Robertson is another former champion to enter the competition on Sunday.

The 2010 winner plays fellow left-hander Liang Wenbo, who he has beaten in each of his last four attempts.

Robertson is targeting a strong run to round off an impressive 2019-20 season that has seen him capture the Champion of Champions, European Masters and World Grand Prix titles.

Back at the Crucible after three years away, world number 34 Liang reached the quarter-finals on his debut in 2008 but has recorded just one victory in Sheffield since.

Rising star Yan Bingtao is a seed at the World Championship for the first time this year.

The 20-year-old, ranked 16 in the world, takes on Gateshead debutant Elliot Slessor, who beat the likes of Ben Woollaston and Martin O’Donnell to qualify.

Elsewhere, four-time World champion Higgins needs four more frames when he resumes against Matthew Stevens.

The Scotsman is targeting a fourth consecutive Crucible final and holds a 6-3 lead over the two-time finalist.

Kurt Maflin is also in the driving seat against world number 12 David Gilbert.

The world number 43 carries a slender 5-4 advantage in his second session with 2019 semi-finalist, who is aiming to avoid becoming the first seed to bow out of this year’s tournament.

The action gets underway from 10am BST, with first-round matches to be contested over the best of 19 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

Sunday August 2

First Round

2 Yan Bingtao v Elliot Slessor
16 Neil Robertson v Liang Wenbo

5 John Higgins 6-3 Matthew Stevens*
12 Ronnie O’Sullivan v Thepchaiya Un-Nooh

6 David Gilbert 4-5 Kurt Maflin*
16 Neil Robertson v Liang Wenbo*