Defending champion Judd Trump, the legendary Ronnie O’Sullivan and 2022’s hottest current player Neil Robertson are all scheduled to compete in the BetVictor Gibraltar Open international snooker event later this month.
“This is without question the strongest field we have ever had for the BetVictor Gibraltar Open,” said a spokesman for WST (World Snooker Tour), “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.”
Set to join the aforementioned three headliners from 24 to 26 March at Europa Sports Complex are five other former world champions, Mark Williams, John Higgins, Stuart BIngham, Shaun Murphy and Ken Doherty, as well as multiple tournament winners Mark Allen, Luca Brecel, Barry Hawkins, Ding Junhui, Stephen Maguire, Joe Perry, Jimmy White and Kyren Wilson. Also present will be a strong contingent of young Chinese stars led by Zhao Xingtong and Fan Zhengyi, as well as 16-year-old Ukranian wunderkind Iulian Boiko.
The tournament was first held in 2015, when it was won by Hong Kong’s Marco Fu. Shaun Murphy, Ryan Day and Stuart Bingham were victorious the following three years, before Trump dominated both the 2020 and 2021 editions. The first year in Gibraltar he beat Kyren Wilson 4-3 in the final, and he then retained the crown by thumping Jack Lisowski 4-0 last year behind closed doors in Milton Keynes – where the event was moved due to COVID-19 restrictions.
This year, Trump will start his defence against Andrew Higginson, while O’Sullivan, playing in this tournament for the first time, will meet Ben Woollaston in the first round, and Robertson will be up against Liang Wenbo.
Offering the champion a top prize of £50,000, the world ranking event – hosted by the Gibraltar ministry of sport – is also the eighth and final leg of the 2021-2022 BetVictor Series, with a £150,000 bonus for the overall winner. Eleven players can still win that bonus by topping the BetVictor Series rankings.
“We are thrilled to be heading back to Gibraltar, one of our favourite locations on the global circuit,” said the WST spokesman. “After missing out on the trip last year it will be exciting to return, especially for the players who love the atmosphere and beaches of Gibraltar as well as the superb snooker venue. And for the fans it’s an incredible opportunity to see a wide range of the best cue kings on the planet.”