All eyes are set on the 2020 Masters set to be played only a couple of hours from now. The most prestigious invitational event for the calendar year begins in earnest with a couple of mouthwatering fixtures, one typical of an event comprising of only the top-16 in the elite world ranking.
The top-16 world nest players will compete for only the second Triple Crown title for the new year with the event scheduled to be played at the Alexandra Palace.
Although, it is restricted to only the top 16 in the world, world number 17, Ali Carter made the draws this year after Ronnie O’Sullivan withdrew from the tournament.
The absence of Ronnie, a seven-time champion of this event will surely be felt as he remains the biggest star of the sport still playing.
That said, there is no shortage of stars at the event, with an incredible lineup of stars dotting the headlines of this year’s edition. The charge is led by world number one and reigning champion of the Masters, Judd Trump who is also a big favourite for the tournament.
Trump began his excellent 2019 campaign with a Masters win, where he defeated veteran player, Ronnie O’Sullivan in the finals of the tournament. He will however be challenged this term by seven other competitors who have at one time or the other tasted triumphs at the tournament.
One such competitor is Shawn Murphy who Trump is poised to take on in the first round. Murphy who claimed the title last in 2015 is expected to give Trump a tough time, and possibly take the win and progress into the last-eight of the event.
The clash shares a lot of semblance with their clash earlier this year as they battled for International Championship glory, an encounter which Trump glided through to come out tops.
Judd Trump bagged all three Triple Crown titles up for grabs last term and hopes to bounce on even more. He would however have to take down 2015 champion, Shawn Murphy to actualize his dreams. With Ronnie withdrawing from the event, Trump would fancy his chances of defending his title.