During the mid-session interval of this afternoon’s UK Championship final between Ronnie O’Sullivan and Judd Trump, the draw was made for the first round of this season’s Dafabet Masters, with defending champion O’Sullivan drawn against Ricky Walden, while the stand out tie of the round is that between Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy…
Drawn by WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson and six-time Masters champion Stephen Hendry, the draw in full is as follows:
Ronnie O’Sullivan v Ricky Walden
Stuart Bingham v Marco Fu
Barry Hawkins v Ali Carter
Neil Robertson v Robert Milkins
Ding Junhui v Joe Perry
Judd Trump/Mark Allen v John Higgins
Judd Trump/Mark Allen v Stephen Maguire
Mark Selby v Shaun Murphy
With seed ‘6’ having been drawn to play John Higgins, Mark Allen will face the two-time former champion in the last 16 as it stands, while Judd Trump will play Stephen Maguire.
If Judd is able to turn around the ongoing UK Championship final however, it will be Judd who faces Higgins, with Allen to play Maguire.
The other ties are confirmed however, with Ronnie O’Sullivan set to play Ricky Walden in a repeat of the clash that saw Ronnie set a new record for unanswered points in professional competition at the Alexandra Palace last year, while Mark Selby and Shaun Murphy are set for a re-match of their 2013 semi-final.
It will be another emotional reception for Ali Carter closer to home against Barry Hawkins, while Robert Milkins will be looking for a repeat of his 2013 Crucible win against former champion Neil Robertson.
The tournament will run from 11-18 January 2015 at the Alexandra Palace, London.