Ronnie O'Sullivan and Neil Robertson join 'strongest Gibraltar Open field ever'

March 9, 2022
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Phil Haigh ✍️  

2017 English Open - Day 2
Ronnie O’Sullivan will make his first appearance at the Gibraltar Open (Picture: Getty Images)

Ronnie O’Sullivan, Neil Robertson, John Higgins, Mark Williams and defending champion Judd Trump will all be in action at the Gibraltar Open later this month in a field which organisers describe as ‘the strongest we have ever had.’

O’Sullivan will be playing in the event for the first time, having famously tweeted in 2019: ‘I’d rather sleep in a pig sty than have to go and play in the Gibraltar Open.’

Robertson has also tended to skip the event, playing in Gibraltar just once since it became a full ranking tournament, while also competing last year when it was held in Milton Keynes.

There is a top prize of £50,000, but the Gibraltar Open is also the final event in the 2021/22 BetVictor Series, which offers a bonus of £150,000 for the player who tops that order of merit.

11 players can still win that bonus, including O’Sullivan and Robertson, which may well have encouraged them to make the trip to Gibraltar this year.

A World Snooker Tour spokesman said: ‘This is without question the strongest field we have ever had for the BetVictor Gibraltar Open, with so many of our sport’s all-time greats in the draw. For snooker fans in the region it’s an incredible opportunity to see the top stars of snooker’s golden era for the price of a single ticket.

‘And with so much at stake including a prestigious title and the massive BetVictor Series bonus, it promises to be three days of great excitement and top class live sport.’

O’Sullivan has certainly changed his tune since 2019 when he tweeted the memorable ‘pig sty’ line, partly mocking the set-up in Gibraltar and partly the relatively meagre prize money on offer.

£50,000 is a very decent first prize, while the runner-up takes £20,000, but things tail off very quickly from there.

Losing semi-finalists get just £6,000 for winning five matches, with each round from last 64 to semis worth an extra £1,000-a-win.

2022 Gibraltar Open draw

Judd Trump vs Andrew Higginson
Zhao Jianbo vs Simon Blackwell
Scott Donaldson vs Lu Ning
Chang Bingyu vs Sanderson Lam
Ricky Walden vs Liam Highfield
Haydon Pinhey vs Jackson Page
Ryan Day vs Ng On Yee
Lee Walker vs Zhou Yuelong
Li Hang vs Simon Lichtenberg
Martin O’Donnell vs Jordan Brown
Dominic Dale vs Louis Heathcote
Shaun Murphy vs Ken Doherty
Jamie Jones vs Billy Joe Castle
Xu Si vs Iulian Boiko
Peter Devlin vs Xiao Guodong
Barry Hawkins vs Zhang Anda
John Higgins vs David Grace
John Astley vs Michael Holt
Cao Yupeng vs Jamie O’Neill
Jimmy Robertson vs Tian Pengfei
Anthony McGill vs Aaron Hill
Dean Young vs Stuart Carrington
Ding Junhui vs Mark Lloyd
Gary Wilson vs Mark King
Ian Burns vs Tom Ford
Joe O’Connor vs Duane Jones
Mitchell Mann vs Fergal O’Brien
Jack Lisowski vs Mark Davis
Matthew Stevens vs Michael Judge
Andrew Pagett vs Ali Carter
Wu Yize vs Andy Hicks
Kyren Wilson vs Lukas Kleckers
Neil Robertson vs Liang Wenbo
Oli Lines vs David Gilbert
Alex Ursenbacher vs Pang Junxu
Alfie Burden vs Rory McLeod
Luca Brecel vs Kurt Maflin

Hammad Miah vs David Lilley
Robbie Williams vs Zhang Jiankang
Hossein Vafaei vs Jak Jones
Lee Prickman vs Yuan Sijun
Craig Steadman vs Gao Yang
Jimmy White vs Anthony Hamilton
Stuart Bingham vs Gerard Greene
Noppon Saengkham vs Matt Selt
Soheil Vahedi vs Sean Maddocks
Chris Wakelin vs Si Jiahui
Zhao Xintong vs Jamie Clarke
Mark Williams vs Ross Muir
Allan Taylor vs Lyu Haotian
Farakj Ajaib vs Ashley Carty
Elliot Slessor vs Michael Georgiou
Mark Allen vs Mark Joyce
Fraser Patrick vs Steven Hallworth
Lei Peifan vs Robert Milkins
Jamie Wilson vs Reanne Evans
James Cahill vs Ben Hancorn
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh vs Francis Becerra
Joe Perry vs Sam Craigie
Stephen Maguire vs Michael White
Nigel Bond vs Chen Zifan
Fan Zhengyi vs Ashley Hugill
Barry Pinches vs Peter Lines
Ronnie O’Sullivan vs Ben Woollaston

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

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