Ronnie O'Sullivan will begin the defence of his World Snooker Championship title against tournament debutant Mark Joyce.
The six-time winner and top seed needs to get past a motivated opponent at The Crucible, which will have around a third of spectators in attendance when the event starts on Saturday (17 April), before full capacity is reached by the final.
World number one and favourite with bookmakers Judd Trump starts his bid for a second title with a first round match against Liam Highfield, while three-time champion Mark Selby takes on 2020 quarter-finalist Kurt Maflin.
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Arguably the most exciting draw of the opening round will see Ding Junhui face 2015 champion Stuart Bingham, who came through qualifying, while Jack Lisowski has a tough match against twice runner-up Ali Carter.
Among the other opening ties, Neil Robertson meets Liang Wenbo in a repeat of the 2015 UK Championship final, with four-time winner John Higgins beginning his campaign against Tian Pengfei.
Speaking to Eurosport before the draw was made, O'Sullivan said he was not bothered about who he opened up against.
“I don’t really look at the draw. I know I’m seeded one and will draw the 16th seed (Anthony McGill) if I get through the first round,” he said.
“I always think the tournament doesn’t really start until the quarter-finals.

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“If you can get through the first two rounds, you are pretty much up and running and into the tournament.
The first round is tough, but then you get into a three-session match when you generally have to play a little bit better in your second match to get through.
“That’s always a good sign if you can get through that because you are getting into stroke.”
The tournament starts on Saturday, with the final concluding on May 3.


  • Shaun Murphy v Mark Davis
  • Mark Allen v Lyu Haotian
  • Judd Trump v Liam Highfield
  • Ding Junhui v Stuart Bingham
  • Anthony McGill v Ricky Walden
  • Mark Williams v Sam Craigie
  • Stephen Maguire v Jamie Jones
  • Mark Selby v Kurt Maflin
  • Kyren Wilson v Gary Wilson
  • John Higgins v Tian Pengfei
  • Dave Gilbert v Chris Wakelin
  • Jack Lisowski v Ali Carter
  • Ronnie O'Sullivan v Mark Joyce
  • Barry Hawkins v Matthew Selt
  • Neil Robertson v Liang Wenbo
  • Yan Bingtao v Martin Gould
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