The Masters 2022 draw: Ronnie O’Sullivan vs Jack Lisowski among blockbuster fixtures

Yan Bingtao will start the defence of his title against Mark Williams (Picture: WST)

The draw for the 2022 Masters has been made and, as ever, there are eight fantastic matches to look forward to at Alexandra Palace, London.

The tournament returns to the iconic venue after moving to Milton Keynes during the height of the pandemic and hopefully it will be back to a full crowd for the competition from 9-16 January.

While the old cliche is indeed true that every match is good enough to be a final, there are a couple of contests that stand out more than others, with Ronnie O’Sullivan against Jack Lisowski set to be popular with fans.

Defending champion Yan Bingtao will meet the three-time world champion Mark Williams, while former champions Judd Trump and Mark Allen will clash in the first round.

There remains one either-or contest, with Luca Brecel and Zhao Xintong competing in the final of the UK Championship on Sunday and the winner guaranteeing their spot at the Masters.

Neither UK finalist looked likely to be at the Masters in January, but both have given themselves a chance with their unexpected runs to the showpiece in York.

Whoever lifts the UK title at the Barbican, and the huge £200,000 top prize, will secure a meeting with John Higgins at Alexandra Palace.

The Masters is far from the next action on the calendar, with the Scottish Open running from 6-12 December and the World Grand Prix on from 13-19 December.

MORE : Ronnie O’Sullivan tells Zhao Xintong how he can become unplayable and impregnable

MORE : Ronnie O’Sullivan claims he’s ‘never seen a more talented snooker player’ than Zhao Xintong

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