The world number one won this event when it was staged in Romania in 2016 and again in Belgium twelve months later.
Judd Trump beat Lukas Kleckers 5-1 to comfortably advance to the last 32 of the European Masters on Wednesday in Milton Keynes.
Last season’s six-time ranking event winner scored a 132 as well as a pair of half-century breaks to safely negotiate the second hurdle.
A two-time former champion, Judd Trump will face Michael Holt in the European Masters third round after the latter’s 5-2 success against returning pro Jamie Jones.
It was another busy day of action at the Marshall Arena, with the second round beginning on the same day that the first round concluded.
Other players to progress to the next stage were former ranking event winners Yan Bingtao and Luca Brecel.
Yan edged Ryan Day 5-3 while Brecel prevailed in a scrappy affair with former world number two Ali Carter with a 5-1 scoreline.
Martin O’Donnell and Jamie Clarke earned respective 5-4 victories over David Grace and Matthew Selt, as Allan Taylor and Joe O’Connor also managed to stay in the hunt for glory this week.
In the first round, the likes of Ding Junhui and Mark Allen survived their opening European Masters tests.
Ding thumped fellow Chinese cueist Yuan Sijun 5-0 in what was the UK champion’s first outing of the 2020/21 campaign.
Northern Ireland’s Allen, meanwhile, contributed a hat-trick of centuries in a 5-2 defeat of Austrian Florian Nüßle.
3️⃣ centuries when he’s feeling rusty? Scary 😬
— World Snooker Tour (@WeAreWST) September 23, 2020
Among the others to reach the last 64 were reigning Masters champion Stuart Bingham, Barry Hawkins, Graeme Dott, and Ken Doherty.
The action continues on Thursday with the remaining second-round clashes taking place and the likes of defending champion Neil Robertson rejoining the fray.
World champion Ronnie O’Sullivan is also set for his first bout of this term – he received a bye in the first round after Daniel Wells’ positive coronavirus test – and the Englishman will face Irish rookie Aaron Hill.
Live coverage continues on Eurosport.
Click here to view the draw (Times: CET)
Featured photo credit: WST