Ronnie O'Sullivan faces Robin Hull in the Dafabet World Championship

Last Updated: 18/04/14 10:52am

  • Share:
Ronnie O'Sullivan: Five-time world champion to play Robin Hull

Ronnie O'Sullivan: Five-time world champion to play Robin Hull

Sky Bet

The first-round draw for snooker's Dafabet World Championship will see reigning champion Ronnie O'Sullivan take on Robin Hull when the tournament gets underway at The Crucible on Saturday.

O'Sullivan will launch the defence of his Dafabet World Championship title against Finland's Robin Hull on Saturday morning.

The draw in London on Thursday lunchtime handed Hull the daunting task of facing the tournament favourite, who will be targeting his sixth world title in Sheffield.

Hull, 39, gave up snooker for three years from 2008 due to a life-threatening virus but has returned, playing sporadically but well enough during the qualifying stages over the past fortnight to earn his second shot at Crucible snooker.

"In some respects a player like Robin Hull has a lot less problems than some of the other players who have been bashing their heads against him and coming up with nothing."
Steve Davis

He also got through to the main draw in 2002 and on Wednesday night beat that year's champion, Peter Ebdon, in the final preliminary round.

O'Sullivan has won the last two world titles and is also the reigning Masters and Welsh Open champion.

Excited

Hull responded to the draw by writing on Twitter: "I start on Saturday against R O'Sullivan. Let's go!"

Six-time world champion Steve Davis is not ruling out a surprise in the top match either, suspecting the likes of Hull may not be cowed by the prospect of facing O'Sullivan.

Davis said: "In some respects a player like Robin Hull has a lot less problems than some of the other players who have been bashing their heads against him and coming up with nothing.

"It seems like a lot of top players have gone into their shell recently when playing against him and so they're not playing their own game. They're certainly in awe of him or in his shadow."

Elsewhere, World No 1 Neil Robertson will take on Robbie Williams, two-time champion John Higgins faces fellow-Scot Alan McManus and World No 6 Stuart Bingham will play two-time runner-up Ken Doherty.

First round draw:

Stephen Maguire v Ryan Day

Ronnie O'Sullivan v Robin Hull

Joe Perry v Jamie Burnett

Shaun Murphy v Jamie Cope

Marco Fu v Martin Gould

Barry Hawkins v David Gilbert

Ricky Walden v Kyren Wilson

Mark Davis v Dominic Dale

Ding Junhui v Michael Wasley

Mark Selby v Michael White

Ali Carter v Xiao Guodong

John Higgins v Alan McManus

Stuart Bingham v Ken Doherty

Judd Trump v Tom Ford

Mark Allen v Michael Holt

Neil Robertson v Robbie Williams

(Tournament runs from Saturday, April 19 until Monday, May 5)

  • Share:

Related

2014 World Snooker Championship

Mark Selby: Eyeing more world titles

Selby not resting on laurels

Mark Selby hopes future world titles will prove easier to win than his first after his maiden win at the Crucible.

Mark Selby: Claimed his first-ever world title on Monday night

Selby takes first world crown

Mark Selby produced a stunning comeback to beat Ronnie O'Sullivan 18-14 and claim his first-ever World Snooker crown.

Mark Selby: Had an afternoon to remember to lead O'Sullivan 12-11

Selby turns tables on Ronnie

Mark Selby dominated Monday's afternoon session in the World Snooker Championship final to lead Ronnie O'Sullivan 12-11.

Most Popular

Features

Ready to relaunch

Ready to relaunch

Mike Wedderburn kicks off the countdown to the Sky Sports News relaunch to Sky Sports News HQ.

Aus Open results

Aus Open results

Latest results from the Goldfields Australian Open in Bendigo, Victoria.

Dominant champions

Dominant champions

AP McCoy has ridden into more racing history, but is he the most dominant champion in sport?