The preliminary phase for this year’s blue-riband event is less than a month away.
The early rounds for the 2021 World Snooker Championship qualifiers will again be played over the best-of-11 frames, the World Snooker Tour has revealed.
Previously, all matches in the qualifiers were held across 19 frames and two sessions of snooker, but the changes that were made last year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic have been carried forward into this season as well.
Indeed, the format is the same as in 2020, with every player outside the top 16 in the world rankings vying for the coveted qualification spots to reach the Crucible Theatre.
The first three rounds will take place over the shorter 11 frames guise, before the usual 19-frame set of final round fixtures is conducted – otherwise known as Judgement Day.
The qualifiers for the World Snooker Championship will begin on April 5th – two days earlier than initially scheduled – and will run until April 14th, with the extra days added to maximise the number of matches the WST can broadcast around the world.
The main event gets under way on April 17th, with reigning champion Ronnie O’Sullivan set to challenge for a record-equalling seventh title in the modern era.
Stephen Hendry, the man who currently holds onto that record, will be bidding to make his return to the scene of his most famous triumphs when he participates in the qualifiers for the first time in nine years.
The action will be available to watch live on the Eurosport app and the Matchroom.Live streaming service, with the draw set to be announced after the conclusion of the Tour Championship at the end of March.
World Snooker Championship Qualifiers Format
- Players seeded 81-144 contest the opening round.
- In round two, those 32 winners will face players seeded 49-80.
- In round three, those 32 winners will face players seeded 17-48.
- In round four, those 32 winners play each other, with the 16 winners going through to the Crucible.
Featured photo credit: WST