The snooker season is set to continue for now at least and a prestigious Tour Championship draw will see eight of this season’s best performers in action at Llandudno.
Judd Trump won the Gibraltar Open just a few days ago and will hope to be back in action with the next tournament scheduled to begin on Tuesday.
Trump’s 4-3 defeat of Kyren Wilson on Sunday was his sixth tournament win this year and means that the latter failed in his attempt to force his way into the Tour Championship draw.
His latest victory saw him eclipse the previous best tally for ranking victories in one campaign, an achievement which also saw him take home a £150,000 bonus for topping the European Series order of merit standings.
Trump will face John Higgins in a repeat of their 2019 World Championship final when they cross paths at the Venue Cymru in the quarter-finals of the last tournament in the Coral Series.
The pair have already met three times since Sheffield with every encounter being won by the Englishman and Trump will naturally be well fancied to take the spoils again.
Ding won a third UK Championship title in December but has shown disappointing form of late and, though the pair have only played each other once in the last four years, the Australian boasts a narrow advantage when it comes to their previous meetings.
The other half of the draw pits friends Shaun Murphy and Mark Allen against each other with Murphy dominating encounters fixtures with the Northern Irishman, including a 6-2 win at the Players Championship recently and a 10-3 defeat in Shanghai earlier in the season.
Mark Selby will face a stiff test when he faces Yan Bingtao with the duo only having a couple of previous encounters to go on, with one win apiece in clashes that were contested over a shorter best of seven frames format rather than the longer fixtures which take place here.
The Tour Championship is likely to throw up plenty of drama and excitement with the quarter-finals being the first to nine encounters, the semi-finals the first to ten, and the final taking place over 25 frames.
The Tour Championship Draw
How to Watch the Tour Championship
The tournament runs from 16-22 of March at Venue Cymru in Llandudno.
From Tuesday – Friday there are two sessions, at 1pm and 7pm. The quarter-finals are played Tuesday to Wednesday before the semi-finals take-place on Thursday and Friday.
The final is played over three sessions, at 7pm Saturday then 1pm and 7pm on Sunday with matches being shown live on ITV4