Ryan Day expects a highly competitive Welsh Open with most of the top players still in form and rhythm off the back of the Masters and with the World Championships in Sheffield on the horizon.

Bridgend’s Day is among a plethora of big names to come out a nation with a proud snooker pedigree – current world champion Mark Williams is a three-time winner, while Ray Reardon claimed six crowns in the 1970s and Terry Griffiths conquered the world in 1979.

Williams is the only Welshman to win the Welsh Open, while Day’s best finish is the quarter-finals on two separate occasions.

Day takes on Thai potter Thepchaiya Un-Nooh in the first round at Cardiff's Motorpoint Arena, and the 38-year-old believes the tournament will see players in decent nick as the business end of the season hits, in between the Masters and the Worlds, adding the players feel it is one of the more enjoyable competition on the tour.

“Everyone’s coming out of the Masters, where they’re at their sharpest and trying to be the best they can be,” said Day.

“The World Championship is just around the corner where everyone is trying to end the season on a high.

“The players are sharp, most of the season, we might have a couple of dips in between, but it certainly falls in the category of tournaments to build confidence going into the last tournament of the season – the World Championships in Sheffield.

“If you speak to a lot of the players on the tour, quite a lot of them enjoy coming to play in Cardiff.

“It’s such a great city, the arena is one of the best we play at and that lends itself to a better tournament and better performances, because a lot of the players are happy to be playing and competing in that event.”

Watch the Welsh Open LIVE on Eurosport and Eurosport Player, with analysis from Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.