Ronnie O'Sullivan will begin the defence of his Dafabet Masters title against Liang Wenbo at Alexandra Palace in London next month.

Crowd favourite O'Sullivan, who lives in Chigwell, won his sixth Master's title last season by thrashing Barry Hawkins 10-1 in the final but he has a tough opening tie against China's Wenbo who recently won his first ranking title at the English Open.

This match will be the opening match of the tournament on Sunday, January 15 at 1pm.

World Champion Mark Selby will start his bid to win a fourth Masters title when he faces Mark Williams on Wednesday, January 18.

Snooker's most prestigious event runs from Sunday, January 15 to Sunday, January 22 and has been staged at the Ally Pally since 2012.

The snooker player recently also accepted that Selby is setting a staggeringly high standard in snooker after the world number one added the UK Championship title to his Crucible crown.

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