The 2021 draw is beginning to take shape.
The seeding positions for the upcoming World Snooker Championship are now set in stone after the climax to the penultimate ranking event of the season on Sunday.
Neil Robertson produced an outstanding performance to beat Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final of the Tour Championship at the Celtic Manor in Wales.
The list of players who are to receive an automatic ticket to the Crucible Theatre next month had already been determined prior to the start of the Tour Championship.
However, the results still proved to be important in determining which exact seeding spot each competitor would take up in the World Snooker Championship first-round draw.
As the defending champion, O’Sullivan is the top seed and is on the opposite side of the draw to the world number one and second seed, Judd Trump.
Scotland’s Anthony McGill, a semi-finalist last summer when the rescheduled 2020 edition was staged, was the last player in the top 16 and could encounter the Rocket in round two, with Ding Junhui and Stephen Maguire also in the top mini bracket.
O’Sullivan’s fellow Class of 1992 members John Higgins and Mark Williams similarly feature in the top half alongside Mark Allen and Mark Selby in what is immediately looking like the quarter of death.
Trump’s potential second-round opponent is 15th seed David Gilbert, and there’s former world champion Shaun Murphy and reigning Masters winner Yan Bingtao in the mix in that section too.
Completing the bottom half of the draw are third seed Robertson, Jack Lisowski, Barry Hawkins, and last year’s runner-up Kyren Wilson.
With the seeding done for the World Snooker Championship, the next focus will turn to the qualifying rounds with more than 100 contenders vying for the remaining 16 coveted spots in Sheffield.
Those preliminaries get under way in a week, with a grandstand opening match between Stephen Hendry and Jimmy White kicking things off.
World Snooker Championship Last 32 Draw
|Ronnie O’Sullivan (1)||vs||Qualifier|
|Qualifier||vs||Anthony McGill (16)|
|Ding Junhui (9)||vs||Qualifier|
|Qualifier||vs||Stephen Maguire (8)|
|John Higgins (5)||vs||Qualifier|
|Qualifier||vs||Mark Williams (12)|
|Mark Allen (13)||vs||Qualifier|
|Qualifier||vs||Mark Selby (4)|
|Neil Robertson (3)||vs||Qualifier|
|Qualifier||vs||Jack Lisowski (14)|
|Barry Hawkins (11)||vs||Qualifier|
|Qualifier||vs||Kyren Wilson (6)|
|Shaun Murphy (7)||vs||Qualifier|
|Qualifier||vs||Yan Bingtao (10)|
|David Gilbert (15)||vs||Qualifier|
|Qualifier||vs||Judd Trump (1)|
Featured photo credit: WPBSA