sport

O'Sullivan set for Milkins test

World champion Ronnie O'Sullivan will begin his Masters campaign against Robert Milkins at Alexandra Palace next month.

The 'Rocket' only made a late decision to enter the tournament, despite earning an automatic qualifying place for the event with his Crucible triumph in May.

He wrote on Twitter on Friday: "thinking about enetering the masters at ally pally - what ya think - yes or no - so unsure"

A reply from World Snooker's official account simply read "yes", and O'Sullivan wrote, around an hour after his original post: "entered and done - let me entertain u ally pally".

That episode came a day after O'Sullivan's quarter-final exit to Stuart Bingham at the UK Championship in York.

But he had crushed Milkins 6-0 in the previous round in little more than an hour and will now look to also spoil the Gloucester player's long-awaited Masters debut.

Defending champion Mark Selby and his fellow 2013 finalist Neil Robertson were paired with Mark Davis and Mark Allen respectively, in the draw made during the first mid-session interval in their UK final at the Barbican Centre.

The other games see a re-match of this year's World Championship semi-final between Barry Hawkins and Ricky Walden, which Hawkins won 17-14, while the in-form Ding Junhui takes on Shaun Murphy.

Judd Trump will play Marco Fu, Stuart Bingham was given a tough draw against John Higgins and Stephen Maguire faces Joe Perry.

The tournament takes place from January 12-19, with a first prize of 200,000.

Full Masters draw:

Mark Selby v Mark Davis, Stuart Bingham v John Higgins, Judd Trump v Marco Fu, Ding Junhui v Shaun Murphy, Neil Robertson v Mark Allen, Stephen Maguire v Joe Perry, Barry Hawkins v Ricky Walden, Ronnie O'Sullivan v Robert Milkins.