Four-time world champion John Higgins will begin the defence of his Shanghai Masters title today, when he faces 41-year-old Mike Dunn in the last 32 at Shanghai’s Grand Stage.

The world number six has enjoyed a return to form this season, having endured a poor year by his standards in 2012/13.

He won the first trophy of 2013/14 as he beat Neil Robertson to win the opening European Tour Event in Bulgaria, before losing to the world number one in the final of the Wuxi Classic.

His opponent - ranked 64 in the world - has secured qualification for three of the four world ranking events so far and won three matches to secure his place in Shanghai.

This will be only the second-ever meeting between these two players in respective careers that have spanned more than 20 years. Higgins beat Dunn 4-0 at PTC Event Nine in Antwerp two seasons ago.

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