UK Championship schedule
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UK Championship: 2022 draw, preview, schedule, where to watch

The 2022 UK Championship schedule continues on Saturday with the beginning of the venue stages of the draw at the Barbican Centre in York.

There have already been six days of qualifying action a short distance away in Sheffield, with 16 players emerging from the preliminaries at Ponds Forge.

They have joined the top 16 from the world rankings list who feature in the last 32 automatically, in what is a change to the format this year.

Prize, History, and Format

The UK Championship has been held annually on the snooker calendar since 1977, when Patsy Fagan won the inaugural staging in Blackpool.

Seven years later it became a ranking event, and since then it has widely been considered the sport’s second most prestigious behind only the World Championship itself.

In the last decade, the UK Championship suffered somewhat from a crisis of identity, with a shortened format and a flat draw at odds with the prestige that should be attached to a tournament of its stature.

But there seems to already be renewed excitement for the competition this year, with a strongly promoted qualifying romp acting as an appetising prelude to the TV stages in which the best players from the top 16 enter the fray.

The UK Championship roll of honour is a who’s who of snooker’s biggest names, and many of them feature in the 2022 draw.

Zhao Xintong is the reigning champion following his breakthrough success on the main tour almost twelve months ago.

Seven-time winner Ronnie O’Sullivan is the favourite for glory again after a rapid start to the campaign in which he has already collected two invitational crowns.

John Higgins, Mark Williams, Mark Selby, Neil Robertson, Judd Trump, and Shaun Murphy are former winners on the seeded side of the draw.

Of the qualifiers, there’s three-time champion Ding Junhui, 2003 winner Matthew Stevens, and 60 year-old Jimmy White – who famously captured his biggest career title in this event 30 years ago.

As in recent years, the matches are the best-of-eleven frames until the final, which will be contested over 19 frames.

There’s a record prize fund for the tournament in 2022, with a whopping £250,000 up for grabs for the champion on Sunday week.

2022 UK Championship Draw and Schedule

Chinese number one Zhao begins his defence against Sam Craigie, who beat Joe O’Connor and Ian Burns in qualifying.

The winner will face either British Open champion Ryan Day or Jimmy White in what is a fairy tale return to the latter stages of a major tournament for the Whirlwind.

In emerging from the first of four qualifying rounds, White has become the oldest player to reach the last 32 of a ranking event in almost three decades.

The top quarter of the 2022 UK Championship draw also features Mark Allen and Kyren Wilson.

Allen, who faces fellow Northern Irishman Jordan Brown, is one of the in-form protagonists from the 2022/23 campaign so far, and with confidence soaring he will fancy his chances of going far.

Meanwhile, the second section from the top half features three ex-champions in Selby, Murphy, and Trump.

All three have tricky opening fixtures with Selby in action against Hossein Vafaei – a talented player who is knocking on the door of a spot in the top 16 for the first time.

Trump will look to bounce back from his defeat in last week’s Champion of Champions final against Xiao Guodong, while Murphy faces David Gilbert.

Jack Lisowski, who has been quiet this season after his terrific run at the World Championship in April, is also a dark horse in this bracket and will play Xu Si.

Moving into the bottom half of the draw, Neil Robertson takes on close pal Joe Perry after the latter thrashed Graeme Dott 6-0 in the final qualifying round on Thursday.

Stuart Bingham entertains Liam Highfield, 2021 runner-up Luca Brecel is challenged by Lyu Haotian, and Tom Ford tackles John Higgins.

The bottom quarter is arguably the most fascinating, however.

O’Sullivan gets his bid to win a record eighth UK title under way against old foe Stevens, who emerged from three rounds of qualifying during the week.

The Rocket is undoubtedly the favourite, both in this match and in the tournament overall, and he’ll likely benefit from the revamped format that sees him enter at a later stage compared to recent years.

But despite his strong showing in Bolton last week, there’s plenty of potential danger in his immediate vicinity.

There is an all-Chinese affair between former World Cup winning partners Yan Bingtao and Zhou Yuelong, and an all-Welsh tie featuring Williams and Jamie Clarke.

Perhaps the pick of the entire round is the clash between Ding – a formidable player every top 16 member would have been crossing their fingers to avoid – and Barry Hawkins.

Last 32

Zhao Xintong (1) vs Sam Craigie
(Sat, Nov 12 – 1pm)
Ryan Day (16) vs Jimmy White
(Sat, Nov 12 – 7pm)
Mark Allen (9) vs Jordan Brown
(Sat, Nov 12 – 1pm)
Kyren Wilson (8) vs Matthew Selt
(Sat, Nov 12 – 7pm)

Mark Selby (5) vs Hossein Vafaei
(Tues, Nov 15 – 7pm)
Jack Lisowski (12) vs Xu Si
(Tues, Nov 15 – 1pm)
Shaun Murphy (13) vs David Gilbert
(Tues, Nov 15 – 7pm)
Judd Trump (4) vs Xiao Guodong
(Tues, Nov 15 – 1pm)

Neil Robertson (3) vs Joe Perry
(Sun, Nov 13 – 1pm)
Stuart Bingham (14) vs Liam Highfield
(Mon, Nov 14 – 7pm)
Luca Brecel (11) vs Lyu Haotian
(Sun, Nov 13 – 1pm)
John HIggins (6) vs Tom Ford
(Sun, Nov 13 – 7pm)

Mark Williams (7) vs Jamie Clarke
(Mon, Nov 14 – 7pm)
Barry Hawkins (10) vs Ding Junhui
(Sun, Nov 13 – 7pm)
Yan Bingtao (15) vs Zhou Yuelong
(Mon, Nov 14 – 1pm)
Ronnie O’Sullivan (2) vs Matthew Stevens
(Mon, Nov 14 – 1pm)

The UK Championship schedule continues with the second round on the 16th and 17th, the quarter-finals are on the 18th, the semi-finals take place on the 19th, and the final is on Sunday, November 20th.

Where to Watch the UK Championship

The full 2022 UK Championship schedule will be available to watch on Eurosport and discovery+ across Europe, with viewers in the UK and Ireland also able to enjoy coverage from the BBC.

Other options are available around the world, with more information on those global networks available over on the World Snooker Tour website.

Featured photo credit: WPBSA

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