Champion of Champions draw
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Champion of Champions Draw and Preview

With the Champion of Champions draw complete, the action is set to get under way at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry on Monday.

Quarter-final losses for the three remaining players in the World Open on Friday who could have landed the title needed to grab the last qualification spot ensured that it instead went to world seniors champion Jimmy White.

The 57 year-old’s reward is a date with old pal Ronnie O’Sullivan, the defending champion, on day four.

O’Sullivan loves this tournament and, in fact, has never failed to reach the final on the five occasions that he’s entered since its launch in 2013.

The “Rocket” usually plays his best snooker when the field is elite and it doesn’t come a lot stronger than what’s assembled in the Champion of Champions.

That said, an aging “Whirlwind” will definitely represent an easier opening test on paper.

White’s legion of faithful fans will be hoping for one last hurrah on what could transpire to be the Londoner’s final outing in a major TV event.

The short best of seven frames format for the first round does at least offer him with a decent shout if he can get off to a good start.

O’Sullivan will of course be the favourite, as he will be to claim the title for what would be a fourth time overall should he manage to go all the way again.

Stiffer tests will likely come elsewhere for the 43 year-old in the Champion of Champions draw.

This invitational tournament is slightly different in that each of the first four days will produce one semi-finalist.

Also in O’Sullivan’s quarter then are fellow former world champions John Higgins and Stuart Bingham, who just played each other in China a few days ago.

The first section on Monday will feature women’s world champion Reanne Evans, who is competing in the competition for the first time in her career.

Evans faces 2017 winner Shaun Murphy in the last 16, with either Neil Robertson or Martin Gould awaiting in the evening encounter played over the longer best of 11 frames.

Murphy has been one of the players of the season so far so it will surely be a tall ask for Evans to conjure up what would be a monumental upset.

Mark Selby enters the fray on Tuesday but the Champion of Champions hasn’t been the kindest of events for the Leicester man.

Indeed, the English Open winner has just one semi-final appearance to his name in a disappointing return for someone of his stature.

Yan Bingtao will be Selby’s initial opponent with either Mark Allen or Matthew Selt a possible quarter-final hurdle to overcome.

Wednesday, meanwhile, will see world champion Judd Trump begin his tilt at a first triumph in Coventry.

Trump will have to get over the jet lag of returning from China, where he has just won his second ranking title of the campaign at the World Open.

Trump overcame Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 10-5 in Sunday’s final and could encounter the Thai again if the pair emerge successfully from their first round fixtures.

After his disappointing defeat Un-Nooh will be hoping to bounce back against Kyren Wilson, who he beat in a dramatic last four tie in Yushan on Saturday.

The Champion of Champions has become one of the most prestigious events on the calendar and one of the most well-liked by fans.

There is a top prize worth £150,000 on offer for the winner, a fifty percent increase from the cheque that O’Sullivan walked away with twelve months ago.

Live coverage will be on ITV.

Click here to view the full Champion of Champions draw (Times: CET)

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