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O SULLIVAN TO FACE MAGUIRE AT CRUCIBLE

Ronnie O’Sullivan will begin his bid for a sixth Crucible crown against Stephen Maguire in the first round of the Betfred World Championship.

The random draw for the last 32 of snooker’s biggest tournament was made today, with the top 16 seeds drawn against the 16 qualifiers.

O’Sullivan has had one of the best seasons of his career, winning five ranking titles so far. He’ll be up against former UK Champion Maguire in a repeat of their first round clashes in Sheffield in 2004 and 2005, both won by O’Sullivan.

Mark Selby, champion in 2014, 2016 and 2017, will begin the defence of his title against Joe Perry. That match starts in the opening session of the tournament on Saturday at 10am, and concludes in the evening session on the same day.

Ding Junhui faces Xiao Guodong in an all-Chinese clash, while Judd Trump is up against Crucible debutant Chris Wakelin. Four-time winner John Higgins will play Thailand’s Thepchaiya Un-Nooh.

The full draw is:

Mark Selby v Joe Perry
Mark Allen v Liam Highfield
Kyren Wilson v Matthew Stevens
Shaun Murphy v Jamie Jones
John Higgins v Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
Stuart Bingham v Jack Lisowski
Luca Brecel v Ricky Walden
Judd Trump v Chris Wakelin
Ding Junhui v Xiao Guodong
Anthony McGill v Ryan Day
Marco Fu v Lyu Haotian
Barry Hawkins v Stuart Carrington
Mark Williams v Jimmy Robertson
Neil Robertson v Robert Milkins
Ali Carter v Graeme Dott
Ronnie O’Sullivan v Stephen Maguire

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