Jack Lisowski will soon face his biggest test yet in his rise up the snooker world rankings.
The talented Englishman will take on defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan on Thursday aiming for a place in the UK Championship quarter-finals.
Lisowski has impressed so far this season with consistent displays of fine attacking snooker. He has reached one ranking event final, one semi-final and three quarter-finals within five months – but is still awaiting his first major silverware of his career.
The 27-year-old’s solid run this week has given him a great chance to secure a place in the Masters for the first time next month and now he comes face to face with arguably snooker’s greatest player of all time in one of the most biggest events the season has to offer.
The pair have played once before – O’Sullivan beating Lisowski 5-2 during the five-times world champion’s English Open triumph more than a year ago.
But the UK Championship is a far bigger event and Liswoski knows the rewards are huge.
“It could be a cracking match against Ronnie, I think we are the second and third-fastest players on tour,” he said 27-year-old Lisowski.
“I hope I can keep up with him and score. The way I play, if I go for my shots and have a really good day then 99 per cent of the time I will win because I can be hard to play against. But Ronnie is the same and a real handful as we all know.”
The match is just one of a number of cracking ties in the last 16 stage, some that will make many fans’ mouths water – just like the old Opal Fruits slogan once said.
And in another reference to the fruity sweets, there’s no doubt the UK Championship is getting tasty – sorry!
World champion Mark Williams comes face to face with Stephen Maguire, Masters winner Mark Allen takes on Neil Robertson and Kyren Wilson plays Barry Hawkins in three absorbing ties to be played on Wednesday and Thursday.
Plus there are the likes of Judd Trump, Stuart Bingham and Ding Junhui also in the draw and still well in contention to lift that famous trophy.
Here’s the draw in full
Ronnie O’SULLIVAN vs Jack LISOWSKI
Martin O’DONNELL vs Ding JUNHUI
Judd TRUMP vs Joe PERRY
Lu NING vs Tom FORD
Sunny AKANI vs Stuart BINGHAM
Kyren WILSON vs Barry HAWKINS
Mark ALLEN vs Neil ROBERTSON
Stephen MAGUIRE vs Mark WILLIAMS