Three former world champions throw their bow-ties into the World Snooker Championship ring this Tuesday.
Welshman Mark Williams hasn’t won the title since 2003, but his form this season has seen him close to his best, while Neil Robertson picked up the Scottish Open title in December.
First up though is 2015’s winner Stuart Bingham, who takes on the talented Jack Lisowski in the first round.
Another former champ, John Parrott, gave us his thoughts on Tuesday’s bonanza of previous winners.
Stuart Bingham v Jack Lisowski
“Jack Lisowski put in a great performanace to qualify, beating Alan McManus 10-3. Not many players will do that. The only doubt I have about that result is Alan had played in a 10-9 game the night before, then had to go back in to face Jack the next morning, so that could’ve taken a bit out of him.
“Lisowski’s been a player of immense promise for a long time now. He can pot and score well, but sometimes his play is too open. Stuart Bingham should be fresher than most going into this having had some time off recently, and at 4/7, the 2015 champion will have too much.”
Mark Williams v Jimmy Robertson
“Jimmy Robertson had a good win in the qualifiers, coming through against Michael White, who can be very dangerous when on form. Robertson’s been to the Crucible a few times but never really done himself justice here.
“Mark Williams is certainly enjoying a resurgence lately, winning the German Masters and the Northern Ireland Open in the last six months. He will come out on top here.”
Neil Robertson v Robert Milkins
“Neil is a player who is always capable of winning a championship, as he showed in Sheffield in 2010. He takes on Robert Milkins, who put in a great performance to qualify, beating Michael Holt 10-2, and he is much improved as a matchplayer in recent times.
“However, his record against Neil is not great, so I would expect the Aussie to give him plenty of headaches and make it through to the next round.”
* All odds correct at time of posting.