The tournament is the last scheduled in what has been a turbulent 2020 calendar year.
Judd Trump, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Neil Robertson, and Mark Selby are among the stars in the draw for the World Grand Prix that commences on Monday in Milton Keynes.
Only the top 32 players on the one-year rankings list from the 2020/21 campaign have qualified for what is the final tournament of this year.
Last week’s Scottish Open was the sixth and final counting event, with high-profile names such as Mark Williams, Stephen Maguire, and David Gilbert among those who failed to rise above the cut-off point in time.
Previously the first leg of the Coral Series, this season’s World Grand Prix will instead be sponsored by the Matchroom.Live streaming service.
Prize, History, and Format
With £100,000 on offer for the champion next Sunday, the World Grand Prix promises to be a nice opportunity to earn some extra dosh ahead of what will be a brief respite until after New Year.
Australia’s Robertson is the reigning champion, triumphing at the most recent edition earlier in 2020 when he overcame Graeme Dott 10-8 in Cheltenham.
Trump and O’Sullivan contested the inaugural World Grand Prix when it was initially staged as a non-ranking event in 2015, with the former prevailing on that occasion.
The world number one also etched his name onto the silverware in 2019, while O’Sullivan got his hands on the trophy a year before.
Shaun Murphy and Barry Hawkins are the two other former World Grand Prix champions in this year’s draw, which incorporates a straightforward knockout format.
The first two rounds require only seven frames before best-of-nine quarter-finals and 11-frame semi-finals are implemented, with 19 frames finally needed to determine the champion next weekend.
2020 World Grand Prix Draw
Having earned more than a quarter of a million pounds already this term, Trump is the top seed and will take on Michael Holt in the opening round, who scrambled into the field by the skin of his teeth in 32nd place.
Robertson, who will be in action for the first time since beating Trump in an epic UK Championship final at the beginning of December, will begin his defence against Robert Milkins.
Sunday’s Scottish Open finalists Selby and O’Sullivan will entertain Liang Wenbo and Ali Carter respectively.
The likes of John Higgins, Ding Junhui, Mark Allen, Kyren Wilson, and Stuart Bingham are all hoping to feature prominently as well.
Boasting a world ranking of just 80, Robbie Williams is the lowest ranked competitor in the World Grand Prix draw and will challenge Lu Ning in the first round.
One more big snooker event to finish off 2020. Come on everybody, we can do it. The World Grand Prix is live on ITV4 throughout the week, starting on Monday night at 6.45pm. #snooker
— Nick Metcalfe (@Nick_Metcalfe) December 14, 2020
Last 32 Draw
Judd Trump (1) vs Michael Holt (32)
Li Hang (16) vs Stuart Bingham (17)
Martin Gould (9) vs Mark Allen (24)
Lu Ning (8) vs Robbie Williams (25)
Ronnie O’Sullivan (5) vs Ali Carter (28)
Barry Hawkins (12) vs Ricky Walden (21)
David Grace (13) vs Yan Bingtao (20)
Kyren Wilson (4) vs Kurt Maflin (29)
Mark Selby (3) vs Liang Wenbo (30)
Joe Perry (14) vs Anthony McGill (19)
Ding Junhui (11) vs Jak Jones (22)
Zhou Yuelong (6) vs Hossein Vafaei (27)
John Higgins (7) vs Xiao Guodong (26)
Jamie Jones (10) vs Zhao Xintong (23)
Shaun Murphy (15) vs Jack Lisowski (18)
Neil Robertson (2) vs Robert Milkins (31)
Where to Watch the World Grand Prix
The World Grand Prix will be broadcast live on ITV4 across Ireland and the United Kingdom.
European viewers will be able to access coverage on Eurosport, while there are various other means to watch around the world that you can view by clicking here.
As has become the norm during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the tournament in its entirety will be staged behind closed doors.
Featured photo credit: WST