Jimmy White begins his 43rd World Championship campaign when he takes on Martin O’Donnell in the second qualifying round in Sheffield.
A best of 19 battle of the left-handers from London takes centre stage at the English Institute of Sport, with a showdown against British Open and World Grand Prix semi-finalist Noppon Saengkham on offer to the winner.
Six-time World finalist White recently revealed his confidence at sealing a return to the Crucible – where he has not appeared since 2006 – having enjoyed a welcome resurgence this season.
Achieving the feat at the German Masters, the Whirlwind became the first player in his 60s to reach the last 16 of a ranking event since Eddie Charlton at the 1992 British Open – ironically, an event White won.
He matched that performance at the WST Classic a fortnight ago, beating Graeme Dott, Joe Perry and Judd Trump before succumbing to eventual runner-up Pang Junxu.
White also came through four qualifying rounds to reach the main stages of the UK Championship, and has risen to 73rd in the world rankings after his best season in recent years.
He would love to finish the campaign at the Crucible, but faces a tough opening test in fellow left-hander O’Donnell.
The former UK Championship quarter-finalist has momentum after regaining his professional status in January, having topped the Q Tour rankings by winning two of the six events.
O’Donnell is aiming to secure his maiden appearance in the main draw in Sheffield, having fallen at the final hurdle in 2019 and 2020 following 10-3 defeats against Joe Perry and Elliot Slessor respectively.
The 36-year-old launched his latest quest in style with a commanding 10-5 victory over two-time semi-finalist Marco Fu on Monday, and will be targeting more of the same against another player with notable Crucible pedigree.
Play gets underway at 2.30pm BST on Wednesday with the opening nine frames, before concluding with a maximum of 10 from the same time the following day.
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