FORMER world champions Mark Williams and Ken Doherty are among the names who will have to play a wildcard opponent in next month’s Shanghai Masters.
As the major ranking event is on foreign soil, eight players have been drawn to play Chinese wildcard entrants before the first round despite ensuring qualification last week.
Williams, who has lifted the World Championship crown on two occasions, will have to beat Zhang Young to ensure a first round battle with Barry Hawkins.
And Doherty, winner of the 1997 World Championship, must beat Huang Jiahao to meet reigning world champion Mark Selby in the last 32 stage.
Michael Holt, who made the semi-finals in Shanghai last year, will have to beat Yuan Sijun before playing a first round tie against Ricky Walden.
Welshmen Ryan Day and Michael White have also been tasked with an extra match after being drawn against against Xu Si and Niu Zhuang respectively.
The introduction of wildcard players was aimed to promote the host nation’s snooker development but strangely two of the games will ultimately see a Chinese player knocked out after Liang Wenbo and Li Hang were drawn to play a preliminary match against their fellow countrymen. Wenbo takes on Yan Bingtao and Hang meets Chen Zifan.
The remaining wildcard game sees Matthew Selt drawn against Zhao Xintong with the winner meeting Marco Fu in the next round.
Updated Shanghai Masters First Round Draw
Ding JUNHUI vs Jack Lisowski
Joe PERRY vs Martin GOULD
Graeme DOTT vs Liang WENBO/Yan BINGTAO
Shaun MURPHY vs Joe SWAIL
Judd TRUMP vs Dominic DALE
Stuart BINGHAM vs Li HANG/Chen ZIFAN
Stephen MAGUIRE vs Jimmy ROBERTSON
Ronnie O’SULLIVAN vs Alan McMANUS
Neil ROBERTSON vs Michael WHITE/Niu ZHUANG
John HIGGINS vs Ryan DAY/Xu SI
Mark ALLEN vs Andrew HIGGINSON
Barry HAWKINS vs Mark WILLIAMS/Zhang YONG
Marco FU vs Matthew SELT/Zhao XINTONG
Robert MILKINS vs Fergal O’BRIEN
Ricky WALDEN vs Michael HOLT/Yuan SIJUN
Mark SELBY vs Ken DOHERTY/Huang JIAHAO
Categories: Shanghai Masters