There will be a random draw for each round of the returning ranking event.
Eyebrows were raised as Mark Allen and Reanne Evans were paired together in the opening round of the British Open, which will take place next month in Leicester.
Allen and women’s world champion Evans have a daughter from a previous partnership with one another, but their current relationship is anything but amicable.
The rumour mill is rife surrounding the details of their private lives, but the frosty situation was evident at the recent World Snooker Championship when Allen had his former girlfriend removed from the BBC studio while she was on duty as an analyst.
The Northern Irishman felt that her presence while he was practicing on a nearby table was distracting, which led to quite a big backlash against the former Masters champion.
There will definitely be a significant amount of attention at the Morningside Arena when they cross paths for the first time in a competitive arena.
In what was a completely unseeded draw, Allen and Evans weren’t the only interesting pairings to be drawn from the bag with Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy interestingly set to battle again in a repeat of their World Championship final encounter from May.
It’ll mark the first outing of the 2021/22 snooker season for Selby after the Jester opted to skip the ongoing Championship League.
World number one Judd Trump will play Mitchell Mann, John Higgins is set to face Alexander Ursenbacher, and Barry Hawkins encounters Luca Brecel in a battle between two former ranking event winners.
Mark Allen v Reanne Evans in the first round of the British Open
— David Hendon (@davehendon) July 28, 2021
Ronnie O’Sullivan, Neil Robertson, and Ding Junhui are among the marquee players who have decided to not participate in the revamped British Open that is on the calendar for the first time in 17 years.
While the implementation of the random draw throughout the competition has been generally well received, the format itself has certainly divided opinion.
The 128-player tournament will feature matches lasting only five frames for the opening four rounds – a short setup for what is quite a rich event, with £100,000 on offer for the champion.
The quarter-finals and semi-finals will take place over the slightly longer best of seven frames, before an 11-frame final will determine the overall winner.
There will be live coverage in the UK and Ireland on ITV4.