The 2020 World Grand Prix which gets underway at Cheltenham on Monday is the eleventh ranking event of the current season. It’s open to the top 32 players on the one-year ranking list which has run since the 2019 Riga Masters and up to/including the 2020 BetVictor German Masters, which was won by Judd Trump on Sunday.

As a 32-player competition, there will be 31 matches in total with the final scheduled for Sunday 8th. The format sees round 1 and round 2 games played as ‘best of 7 frame’ matches. The quarters are ‘best of 9’; semis ‘best of 11’ and the final, won last year by Judd Trump, being a ‘best of 19’ confrontation.

With No. 1 seeded Judd Trump and his German Masters trophy returning from Berlin, it is Ronnie O’Sullivan who opens the show before the ITV 4 cameras on Monday night. He’s 7/2 joint-favorite alongside Trump.

Neil Robertson, beaten finalist in Berlin but victorious a week beforehand in Austria, is the next best in at 9/2.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 18: Neil Robertson of Australia plays a shot during his quarter-final match against Barry Hawkins of England on day six of the 2019 Dafabet Masters at Alexandra Palace on January 18, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)

 

Three at Big Prices

This time I’m looking for a lesser-known or simply bigger priced player to make an impact in this competition. There are three I like at juicy prices, starting with Gary Wilson.

Playing like a top-16 player, Wilson has been chalking up incredible breaks with consistency and more and more people believe he is a ranking tournament winner waiting to happen.

Scott Donaldson is another player who has made great strides in recent months. He plays Ding Junhui on Tuesday and, remarkably, this will be their third meeting in as many weeks. The little-known Scott won both of their last two confrontations.

It’s not inconceivable (just unlikely) he can take that sequence to three and then win his next three matches to make the final of this £100,000 to-the-winner tournament. For each-way backers, 150/1 looks generous about this outcome.

Ali Carter was the runner-up in this tournament last year and in making the semi-finals of the recent European Masters, he showed a good level of form. Unfortunately, he could meet Scott Donaldson in the second round but this could guarantee us one player in the third round.

Talking of draws… O’Sullivan and Trump are housed in opposite ends of the draw. Potentially, Trump could meet Neil Robertson in the semi-final. At the same stage, the best of O’Sullivan’s potential opponents are Shaun Murphy or Stephen Maguire – albeit we are hoping it will be Gary Wilson!

YORK, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Gary Wilson plays a shot during his match against Nigel Bond in the fourth round of the Betway UK Championship at The Barbican on December 05, 2019 in York, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

 

Tuesday Banker

My biggest and principle bet of the week will be Scott Donaldson to beat Ding Junhui on Tuesday.

In addition to beating Ding twice in the past few weeks (can there be any better form than that?) the 25-year-old has recently enjoyed runs to the quarter-final of the Scottish Open and European Masters, accounting for the accomplished Kyren Wilson on two occasions.

He’s only 6/4 this time but he’s overpriced at that.

Tips:

Scott Donaldson to beat Ding Junhui (Tuesday 1pm)

Gary Wilson outright (each-way)

Scott Donaldson outright (each-way)

Ali Carter outright

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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