LONDON - China's number one and former champion Ding Junhui will face debutant Jack Lisowski of England in the first round of the Masters snooker tournament here on Monday.
But Ding, who won the invitaiton event in 2011, has not played well since the invitation event moved from Wembley Arena to Alexandra Palace in 2012, winning only one match in seven years.
The world number eight will meet Lisowski on Monday at 7 pm.
Lisowski has flown up the rankings over the past two years and climbed into the top 16, earning a debut in snooker's biggest invitation event.
"The Masters is a tournament that I watched since I was a young boy," said 27-year-old Lisowski. "I would love to do well, but I have a tough first round match against Ding. Each player at the Masters is one of the best in the world.
"If I can settle down, relax and start well then I will be fine. Otherwise I will be in big trouble. I am looking forward to testing my game in that sort of environment. If I think about the occasion too much I get distracted and lose my focus."
Other top stars in the field at the Masters, which runs from January 13 to 20, include Ronnie O'Sullivan, Mark Selby, Mark Williams, John Higgins, Judd Trump and defending champion Mark Allen.
An elite field of the world's top 16 players are chasing the 200,000-pound top prize and Paul Hunter Trophy.