By Alex Driscoll
The battle for the world number one spot is sure to hot up the new snooker season with newly crowned Crucible winner Mark Selby on a mission to knock Judd Trump off his perch.
After his fourth World Championship crown, Selby is close to overtaking world number one Judd Trump for the first time since March 2019.
And Selby indicated after his memorable World Championship more than two months ago that retaining the world ranking top spot was in his eye line.
“That’s my aim to try and get back to world number one, and I’m heading in the right direction,” he said just minutes after beating Shaun Murphy in the World Championship final.
The pair will go into this season with less than £150,000 in ranking points separating them, taking their rivalry across 17 confirmed ranking events with the potential for another three.
Snooker will head to new locations this season with the Turkish Masters debuting on the tour in the final week of September and Leicester hosting their first ranking events during the new season – starting this weekend.
One of the most exciting tournaments upcoming, however, is the return of the British Open in August for the first time since 2004.
New World Snooker Tour chairman Steve Dawson said: “We are delighted to bring back the British Open, which has a fantastic history and has been won by many of the greats.”
Contesting these tournaments alongside Selby and Trump will be women stars Reanne Evans and Ng On Yee who both received two-year tour cards earlier this year.
Between Evans and On Yee, they have won every Women’s World Championship since 2005, Evans winning 12 and On Yee three.
On Yee said: “This is an absolute dream come true, hopefully I can get the most out of this opportunity.”
Snooker is also to benefit with the return of fans at matches with tickets available for many of this season’s ranking events.