Ronnie O’Sullivan will get the defence of his Shanghai Masters title underway when he takes on Neil Robertson in the second round on Wednesday.
The five-time world champion, who demolished Judd Trump 10-3 in last year’s final to win his second title in Shanghai, received a bye into the second round of this year’s event.
However, the 42-year-old has been handed a tough opponent in the last 16, as he will come up against Australian Robertson, who has won two of their last three meetings, including a victory in the final of last year’s Hong Kong Masters.
Robertson booked his place in round two with a comprehensive 6-1 victory over Chinese star Guo Hua, although his record in Shanghai is not great, as he has only twice before made it beyond the second round stage, while he even failed to qualify for the event last year.
O’Sullivan is priced at 1.40 to secure a victory from Wednesday’s match, while Robertson is priced at 2.80 to defeat the reigning champion.
Whoever does win Wednesday’s match will be rewarded with a quarter-final showdown against Stuart Bingham, as the 12th seed has received a bye into the last eight courtesy of Shaun Murphy’s withdrawal.
Murphy pulled out of the tournament earlier this week, but it has now been confirmed that he has withdrawn as his young daughter has been taken ill in hospital.