Rocket to face Ebdon at Crucible

by Michelle Fortune , 16 April 2012

Former world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan will face Peter Ebdon in the first round of the World Snooker Championship.

Ebdon booked his place at the Crucible by beating Alfie Burden 10-0 in the final round of qualifying and his reward is a first round clash with three-time winner O'Sullivan.

John Higgins returns to the Sheffield arena as defending champion and his quest for another title begins against Liang Wenbo, who last year's runner-up Judd Trump faces Dominic Dale in the opening round.

Luca Brecel will become the youngest competitor in Crucible history when he takes on Scotland's Stephen Maguire with world number one Mark Selby drawn against fellow Englishman Barry Hawkins.

Record seven-time champion Stephen Hendry had to come through the qualifiers and he will now face England's Stuart Bingham.

Ireland's Ken Doherty secured his place in the Crucible via the qualifiers and he has the daunting task of trying to beat 2010 winner Neil Robertson.

World championship first round draw in full :

John Higgins (Sco) v Liang Wenbo (Chn)

Mark Selby (Eng) v Barry Hawkins (Eng)

Mark Williams (Wal) v Liu Chuang (Chn)

Judd Trump (Eng) v Dominic Dale (Eng)

Shaun Murphy (Eng) v Jamie Jones (Wal)

Neil Robertson (Aus) v Ken Doherty (Ire)

Ding Junhui (Chn) v Ryan Day (Wal)

Stephen Maguire (Sco) v Luca Brecel (Bel)

Graeme Dott (Sco) v Joe Perry (Eng)

Mark Allen (NI) v Cao Yupeng (Chn)

Martin Gould (Eng) v David Gilbert (Eng)

Stephen Lee (Eng) v Andrew Higginson (Eng)

Ali Carter (Eng) v Mark Davis (Eng)

Ronnie O'Sullivan (Eng) v Peter Ebdon (Eng)

Matthew Stevens (Wal) v Marco Fu (HK)

Stuart Bingham (Eng) v Stephen Hendry (Sco)

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