The draw for the qualifying rounds of the 2020 Betfred World Championship has been made.
The qualifying event runs from July 21st to 28th at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield. It will be played behind closed doors, featuring 128 players, all battling for one of 16 coveted spots at the Crucible Theatre. Only the top 16 seeds* have earned an automatic place in the final stages at the Crucible, which start on July 31st.
In a new qualifying format, players seeded 81-144 contest the opening round.
In round two, those 32 winners will face players seeded 49-80.
In round three, those 32 winners will face players seeded 17-48.
In round four, those 32 winners play each other, with the 16 winners going through to the Crucible.
Matches to look out for in the first round include:
Youngest ever World Championship qualifying participant, 14-year-old Iulian Boiko from Ukraine vs Malaysia’s Thor Chuan Leong
Six-time World Championship runner-up Jimmy White vs Russia’s Ivan Kakovskii
12-time women’s World Champion Reanne Evans vs former Crucible semi-finalist Andy Hicks
James Cahill, who beat Ronnie O’Sullivan at the Crucible last year vs Belgium’s Ben Mertens
The likes of 1997 World Champion Ken Doherty and Thailand’s Sunny Akani enter the event in round two, while top stars such as world number 17 Joe Perry, two-time Crucible finalist Ali Carter and 2006 World Champion Graeme Dott enter in round three.
Fans anywhere in the world will be able to watch the qualifying rounds on Eurosport, Eurosport Player, online broadcasters in China or (in all other territories) FREE on Matchroom Live.
*The top 16 seeds at the Crucible are below.
1. Judd Trump
2. Neil Robertson
3. Mark Williams
4. Mark Allen
5. John Higgins
6. Ronnie O’Sullivan
7. Mark Selby
8. Kyren Wilson
9. Stephen Maguire
10. Shaun Murphy
11. Ding Junhui
12. David Gilbert
13. Jack Lisowski
14. Stuart Bingham
15. Barry Hawkins
16. Yan Bingtao
The Betfred World Championship is supported by Sheffield City Council.
Good luck to all involved.