Trump tackles Wattana, giant-killer Cahill faces Robertson at Welsh Open
Judd Trump, 10/1 with Coral to win the Welsh Open, begins his bid to take a ranking event title he’s never lifted by facing Thailand veteran James Wattana, and the Bristol native boasts a 100 per cent record in four previous head-to-heads.
This explains a massively odds-on 1/16 price for world number six Trump to win his opening round match.
Snooker legend Jimmy White, meanwhile, is even-money to get past fellow seasoned pro Barry Pinches. It’s the latter who boasts a historical advantage over ‘the Whirlwind’ with three wins out of four, and Pinches is odds-on at 4/5.
Tournament second-favourite Neil Robertson (7/1) faces UK Championship giant-killer James Cahill, who is the nephew of seven-time Crucible king Stephen Hendry.
Although teenage sensation Cahill knocked out the likes of Ding Junhui in York, he is a 5/1 match outsider to upset ‘the Thunder from Down Under’. It’s a first-ever meeting for these two, and odds of 15/4 say this best of seven frames encounter will go the distance to a deciding frame.
Robertson is an odds-on 1/8 favourite to knock this precocious youngster out at the first stage in Cardiff.
Native Welsh pair Mark Williams and Matthew Stevens are both strong favourites to go through to round two. Compatriot Ryan Day, who plays on Tuesday, is looking forward to the tournament and wants to make an impact on home soil.
“There’s 128 players in Cardiff so it’s going to take a lot of winning against top players, but in every tournament my aim is to win it,” said Day. “I’m really looking forward to it. It’s 20 minutes down the road and nice to have that extra support.
“The first couple of games, more often than not, will be the most difficult, but then you get some momentum and some confidence and then you can build into the event. Then you’re looking at the semi-finals, the final and ultimately winning it.”
Defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan, 7/2 favourite to retain the title, takes on another Australian in Vinnie Calabrese, with the world number two massively odds-on at 1/18 to Rocket past this opponent. An O’Sullivan whitewash (4-0) is a 33/20 chance. For Rocket Ronnie to win four consecutive frames, it’s 11/10.
The likes of two-time Welsh Open champion Ken Doherty (4/7), Marco Fu (1/12) and Ali Carter (3/10) are also strong favourites to win their openers.