Mark Williams will chase a hat-trick of British Open titles in September, but the event will be altered to a more traditional format after making its triumphant return to the snooker calendar after a 17-year absence last season.
The Welshman became a double British Open champion and first winner of the tournament since John Higgins in 2004 when he completed a 6-4 victory over Gary Wilson at the Morningside Arena in Leicester.
This year's tournament has been moved to the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes and pushed back a month from August with a 128-man field competing for the £100,000 first prize between September 26 and October 2.
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2019 world champion Judd Trump voiced his concern about the downtime in last season's schedule after playing nine-ball pool in the US last September before returning to compete at the Northern Ireland Open.
“I don’t really feel that anything has happened this season. It’s been a waste of time so far,” Trump told Eurosport. “I think they would have been better off waiting until late September and starting the season then."
The random 'FA Cup' knockout draw that threw up a repeat of the 2021 world final between Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy in the first round last season remains this year.
But the event is more similar to the British Open ranking event first held in 1985 and won by Silvino Francisco when he defeated Kirk Stevens 12-9 at the Assembly Rooms in Derby.
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The early rounds have been increased from the best-of-five frame matches to the best of seven, a schedule that was used in the quarter-finals and semi-finals last year.
The quarter-finals will be contested over the best of nine frames with the semi-finals increasing to the best of 11 frames and the final a more traditional best-of-19 frame showpiece.
Despite the shortened format, the British Open witnessed two 147 breaks upon its return to the professional circuit with Higgins and Ali Carter compiling maximums at the event.
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