World Snooker Championships Draw: Bingham draws nemesis Carter in opening round

After a gruelling three rounds of qualifying, the sixteen players who made it through a challenging week learnt their fate for the first round on Thursday morning.

World Snooker Championships Draw: Bingham draws nemesis Carter in opening round
The trophy all 32 hopefuls are fighting for (photo: Getty Images)

World Champion Stuart Bingham stunned the sport of snooker with his surprise success in 2015 and he will have to be on top of his game from the start of the week. He begins his title defence against Ali Carter, who has a formidable record against the world number two.

Carter has form on his side

Carter looked solid in qualifying and will fancy his chances of causing an upset against the reigning champion. The world number 31 has beaten Bingham in nine out of their ten previous meetings. The clash will begin the tournament alongside Marco Fu against Peter Ebdon.

The lowest ranked player left in the tournament is Mitchell Mann. Making his debut in the competition, Mann is ranked a lowly 74 and has drawn Northern Ireland's Mark Allen in the first round. The pair have only met once, just two months ago, where Mann came out on top in qualification for the China Open

Ronnie O'Sullivan has been tipped as a favourite by many and he will open his campaign against world number 22 David Gilbert. The Masters champion has only dropped one frame in the two matches he has played against Gilbert.

Favourable tie for the world number one

World number one Mark Selby also has a relatively favourable draw against Robert Milkins. Selby has won seven of their eight previous encounters.

Another stand out tie is Martin Gould against Ding Junhui. The latter claimed "nobody wants to face me" and German Masters champion Gould would have hoped for a more favourable draw after the man from China cruised through qualification.

Judd Trump is the form player going into the competition after his China Open success and he begins his quest for world glory against world number 18 Liang Wenbo. The qualifier has the better record of 3-1 and will push Trump all the way.

It is a battle of the veterans as Mark Williams meets Graeme Dott, in a match that possesses years of top level experience. Williams has won five of only seven meetings between two players who have been around for a long time. 

Mixed emotions for the top seeds

Young starlet Kyren Wilson has enjoyed an excellent breakthrough season and faces Joe Perry in the first round. The 24 year old will hope the time is now for him to emerge as one of the world's finest, but has only beaten world number ten Perry once since becoming an amateur.

Potential champions Shaun Murphy and Neil Robertson will be relatively happy with their first round matches, after drawing Anthony McGill and Michael Holt respectively. The two seeds have never lost against their opponent.

John Higgins has a more challenging tie against Wales' Ryan Day. The pair are almost evenly split across eleven encounters, although the lower ranked Day has won the last three.

The first round is completed by Stephen Maguire against Alan McManus, Ricky Walden takes on Robbie Williams, Michael White against Sam Baird and Barry Hawkins plays Zhang Anda in a wide open tournament that begins on Saturday.