The Crucible seedings picture was always going to gradually clear over the course of the week in Preston, with the positions of the top players in the Sheffield draw decided in most cases by events at the Guild Hall. Everyone was interested, including Ronnie O’Sullivan who will take his place at the top of the draw as No1 seed as defending champion. It soon became clear that Ding would be the No4 seed after his early exit at the PTC Grand Finals, in the same half as the Rocket, while Neil Robertson and Mark Selby would be seeded Nos 2 and 3 in the bottom half. Next to be confirmed was Shaun Murphy and Marco Fu, eight and nine, and seeded to meet in the last 16 in O’Sullivan’s quarter. And Friday afternoon confirmed the seedings of Ricky Walden (12), Mark Davis (13), Ali Carter (14), Mark Allen (15) and Joe Perry (16). This left scheduled matches at the last-16 stage between Allen and Robertson, Ding and Davis, Selby and Carter, and O’Sullivan and Perry. The evening matches in Preston were likely to further clarify matters.