The qualifying phase of the 2019 World Championship enters its business end on Sunday as the Second Round gets underway in Sheffield.
Sixty-four players are left standing in the quest to secure one of 16 coveted places in snooker’s blue riband event at The Crucible starting next weekend.
The big names have largely come through the opening round unscathed and will be looking to come out firing in the first session of their latest tie.
Former World Champion Peter Ebdon steps up his pursuit of a 25th Crucible appearance with a clash against 2018 Shoot-Out champion Michael Georgiou.
Ebdon, runner-up in this season’s Paul Hunter Classic, cruised past Harvey Chandler 10-4 in Round One but now faces a tough test against the Cyprus cueist who battled past former quarter-finalist Lee Walker in his opener.
Yan Bingtao, eyeing his second Crucible appearance, takes on fellow countryman Mei Xiwen in what promises to be a high quality contest, with both having recorded commanding 10-3 wins in Round One.
Former UK Championship finalist Liang Wenbo comes up against former UK Championship semi-finalist David Grace – a Challenge Tour top-up who relegated Rory McLeod from the main tour thanks to a 10-8 triumph.
Liang, meanwhile, was one of only three players to record a 10-0 whitewash in Round One, having thrashed Egypt’s Basem Eltahhan with a flurry of big breaks along the way.
Martin Gould, who was responsible for another whitewash, aims to continue in similarly ruthless fashion when he faces Northern Ireland’s Gerard Greene – five times a Crucible qualifier.
Reigning Shoot-Out champion Thepchaiya Un-Nooh blitzed past World Seniors number one Johnathan Bagley 10-4 and now aims to overcome multiple ranking event quarter-finalist Mark Joyce.
Current Indian Open winner Matthew Selt takes on former German Masters champion Anthony Hamilton, while Shoot-Out finalist Michael Holt meets form horse James Cahill – who edged out Andrew Higginson in a last-frame decider.
Welsh Open semi-finalist Joe O’Connor pulled off a crushing 10-1 rout of Joe Swail to seal The Outlaw’s relegation from the tour, and the young gun now looks to take a step closer to a Crucible debut by dispatching European Masters champion Jimmy Robertson – who whitewashed Chen Feilong last week.
Former China Open finalist Gary Wilson takes on 2014 quarter-finalist Dominic Dale, while Iranian star Hossein Vafaei bids to deny Welsh hopeful Daniel Wells.
The afternoon session plays host to the first half of a number of intriguing contests, including a show-down between English Open finalist Mark Davis and former Masters finalist Fergal O’Brien.
In-form Sam Craigie, who thrashed Rhys Clark 10-2, looks to pick up from where he left off when he comes up against UK Championship semi-finalist Tom Ford.
Robert Milkins, who has made the Last 16 at The Crucible on three occasions, continues his qualifying campaign against tricky Thai cueist Sunny Akani.
Luo Honghao, conqueror of Marco Fu in the opening round, will look to prove that scalp was no flash in the pan as he takes on three-time qualifier Robbie Williams.
Scotland’s Anthony McGill, quarter-finalist on his debut in 2015, is faced with a tough test from Duane Jones – semi-finalist in this season’s German Masters.
China Championship semi-finalist Zhao Xintong, 22, faces Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham – who made his Crucible debut two years ago.
Ricky Walden, semi-finalist in 2013, faces Northern Ireland Open semi-finalist Eden Sharav, while a potential close-run contest sees 2018 qualifier Liam Highfield host 2017 qualifier Zhou Yuelong.
Lyu Haotian, who reached the Second Round on debut 12 months ago, aims to move a step closer to an immediate return by defeating Northern Ireland’s Jordan Brown, while 2016 semi-finalist Alan McManus will be eyeing a marked improvement on his First Round display against Ng On Yee when he plays three-time ranking quarter-finalist this season – Martin O’Donnell.
The action gets underway from 10am BST, with all matches to be contested over the best of 19 frames. First sessions will consist of a maximum of nine frames.
World Snooker Championship Qualifiers 2019 Schedule
Sunday April 14
10am & 7pm
Gary Wilson v Dominic Dale
Liang Wenbo v David Grace
Daniel Wells v Hossein Vafaei
Gerard Greene v Martin Gould
Michael Georgiou v Peter Ebdon
Mei Xi Wen v Yan Bingtao
Mark Joyce v Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
Joe O’Connor v Jimmy Robertson
Xiao Guodong v Michael Judge
Michael Holt v James Cahill
Anthony Hamilton v Matthew Selt
Robbie Williams v Luo Honghao
Sam Craigie v Tom Ford
Sunny Akani v Robert Milkins
Duane Jones v Anthony McGill
Ricky Walden v Eden Sharav
Zhou Yuelong v Liam Highfield
Fergal O’Brien v Mark Davis
Jordan Brown v Lyu Haotian
Zhao Xintong v Noppon Saengkham
Alan McManus v Martin O’Donnell