World champion Mark Selby will begin the defence of his title against Kurt Maflin, after the draw for the first round of the World Snooker Championships was made earlier today.
Selby won his first world title in 2014 when he defeated ‘The Rocket’ Ronnie O’Sullivan in a thrilling final at the Crucible. Maflin beat former champion Steve Davis 10-1 in the qualifying rounds to earn his place at the most famous tournament in the sport.
Elsewhere four-time champion John Higgins takes on Robert Milkins and ‘The Wonder from Down Under’ Neil Robertson faces Jamie Jones. O’Sullivan faces Crucible debutant Craig Steadman in round one and should breeze past the 32 year-old.
The all-Welsh clash between two-time champion Mark Williams and two-time runner-up Matthew Stevens jumps off the page. The full first round draw is listed below.
World Championship first round draw:
Mark Selby (Eng) v Kurt Maflin (Nor)
Stephen Maguire (Sco) v Anthony McGill (Sco)
Joe Perry (Eng) v Zhang Anda (Chn)
Shaun Murphy (Eng) v Robin Hull (Fin)
Barry Hawkins (Eng) v Matthew Selt (Eng)
Mark Allen (NI) v Ryan Day (Wal)
Ali Carter (Eng) v Alan McManus (Sco)
Neil Robertson (Aus) v Jamie Jones (Wal)
Ding Junhui (Chn) v Mark Davis (Eng)
John Higgins (Sco) v Robert Milkins (Eng)
Marco Fu (HK) v Jimmy Robertson (Eng)
Judd Trump (Eng) v Stuart Carrington (Eng)
Ricky Walden (Eng) v Graeme Dott (Sco)
Stuart Bingham (Eng) v Robbie Williams (Eng)
Mark Williams (Wal) v Matthew Stevens (Wal)
Ronnie O’Sullivan (Eng) v Craig Steadman (Eng)