The last ranking event of 2022 starts on Monday with Ronnie O’Sullivan and Neil Robertson among those in the English Open draw.
It’s the seventh ranking event of this season in Brentwood, coming just a week after the last tournament on the Home Nations series.
Gary Wilson was a surprise winner of the Scottish Open a week ago, with the 37 year-old claiming his maiden professional title in Edinburgh.
On this occasion, the Steve Davis Trophy is up for grabs as the Main Tour protagonists bid to end the calendar year on a high note.
Prize, History, and Format
An annual fixture on the calendar since 2016, the English Open remains part of the Home Nations series that also includes tournaments in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
Although the early incentive of a million pounds to win all four events in a single season has now been taken away, the English Open and its sister tournaments have instead been added to the BetVictor European Series.
The player with the highest earnings after all eight events on the series will pocket a useful bonus worth £150,000, and like the other Home Nations competitions there is an individual top prize of £80,000 on offer for the English Open champion this year.
Robertson is the reigning champion after his narrow 9-8 success over John Higgins in 2021, while O’Sullivan, Judd Trump, Mark Selby, Stuart Bingham, and Liang Wenbo have also captured glory in the past.
The format follows the usual guise, with four rounds of seven-frame action followed by three latter rounds in which the matches gradually get a little longer, culminating in a best-of-17 final.
This edition of the English Open carries a greater degree of importance than normal as it’s the last opportunity for players to seal a spot in the World Grand Prix draw.
- CLICK HERE: Rankings update after the Scottish Open
Only the top 32 from the one-year rankings list – based on money earned from this term alone – will be invited to participate in Cheltenham next month.
Higgins, Yan Bingtao*, and Zhao Xintong are a few of the notable names who need strong performances in order to move above the cut-off point in the standings.
*Yan Bingtao has been suspended pending a match-fixing investigation.
2022 English Open Draw
Several fixtures from the opening stage of the 2022 English Open draw have already taken place, but the top 16 seeds all had their initial tests held over to the venue stages.
Australia’s Robertson begins his defence against Andrew Pagett on Monday, while world number one O’Sullivan takes on teenager Ben Mertens.
Trump and Selby encounter Jackson Page and Noppon Saengkham respectively in what are two tricky opening fixtures on paper.
There’s an intriguing all-Welsh battle between Mark Williams and Matthew Stevens, a repeat of the World Championship final from 22 years ago.
Higgins, who faces Gerard Greene, needs to at least match his run to the final from last year if he’s to break into the top 32 and qualify for the World Grand Prix.
Kyren Wilson plays women’s world champion Reanne Evans, Stuart Bingham is in action against Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, and Mark Allen faces Mitchell Mann.
Scottish Open champion Gary Wilson is already through to the last 64 where he’ll be challenged by Martin Gould.
heldover fixtures to be played on Monday and Tuesday
Neil Robertson vs Andrew Pagett
Ryan Day vs Asjad Iqbal
Peter Lines w/o Liang Wenbo
Jimmy Robertson vs Marco Fu/Lewis Ullah
Barry Hawkins vs Rod Lawler
Matthew Selt vs Callum Beresford/Ryan Thomerson
Mark Williams vs Matthew Stevens
John Higgins vs Gerard Greene
Jack Lisowski vs Sean O’Sullivan
Shaun Muprhy vs Anthony Hamilton
Mark Selby vs Noppon Saengkham
Judd Trump vs Jackson Page
Stuart Bingham vs Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
Luca Brecel vs Mark Joyce
Kyren Wilson vs Reanne Evans
Zhao Xintong vs Allan Taylor
Mark Allen vs Mitchell Mann
Ashley Hugill w/o Yan Bingtao
Ronnie O’Sullivan vs Ben Mertens
fixtures to be played on Tuesday and Wednesday
N. Robertson/Pagett vs Lei Peifan
Elliot Slessor w/o Chang Bingyu
Day/Iqbal vs Hammad Miah
Ricky Walden vs Liam Highfield
Peter Lines vs J. Robertson/Fu/Ullah
Muhammad Asif vs Hawkins/Lawler
Louis Heathcote vs Selt/Beresford/Thomerson
Dominic Dale vs M. Williams/Stevens
Higgins/Greene vs Mark King
Robert Milkins vs Julien Leclercq
Lisowski/S. O’Sullivan vs Stuart Carrington
Ali Carter vs Chen Zifan
Michael White vs Anthony McGill
Sam Craigie vs Murphy/Hamilton
Wu Yize vs Cao Yupeng
Joe O’Connor vs Selby/Saengkham
Trump/Page vs Craig Steadman
Fraser Patrick w/o Lu Ning
Bingham/Un-Nooh vs Tian Pengfei
David Gilbert vs Yuan Sijun
Mark Davis vs Scott Donaldson
Oliver Lines vs Brecel/Joyce
Ken Doherty vs Jamie Jones
Ben Woollaston vs K.Wilson/Evans
Zhao/Taylor vs Andres Petrov
Zhang Anda vs John Astley
Allen/Mann vs Dylan Emery
Xu Si vs Ding Junhui
Pang Junxu vs Hossein Vafaei
Fan Zhengyi vs Ashley Hugill
Martin Gould vs Gary Wilson
Dechawat Poomjaeng vs O’Sullivan/Mertens
Where to Watch the English Open
Parts of the tournament will be available to UK and Irish viewers on Quest TV, with blanket Eurosport coverage provided across all of Europe.
Various broadcasters around the world will be offering coverage (information here), while fans in territories without another service can access the event through Matchroom.Live.
Featured image credit: WST