The last 32 of the German Masters 2018 delivered a few unexpected results, and saw a number of the remaining top players exit: Mark Allen, Mark Selby, and Barry Hawkins all lost in the first round proper, as did the defending Champion Anthony Hamilton.
Half of the last 32 matches were played yesterday and here is the report on Worldsnooker
Jimmy Robertson saw off defending champion Anthony Hamilton 5-1 on the opening afternoon of the D88 German Masters in Berlin.
The Tempodrom crowd witnessed joyous scenes in 2017, as Hamilton defeated Ali Carter to claim an emotional maiden ranking title after 26 seasons as a professional. However, the Sheriff of Pottingham couldn’t reproduce that sort of form this afternoon.
Robertson, who has reached the Crucible on three occasions, is yet to make it beyond the last 16 stage of a ranking event. However, he’ll have the opportunity to reach his first quarter-final this week, when he faces either Gary Wilson or 2016 German Masters winner Martin Gould in the last 16.
This afternoon’s clash was mainly characterised by safety exchanges, but it was Robertson who was the more proficient in crafting out frame winning opportunities. He compiled runs of 73 and 50 on his way to the comfortable 5-1 victory.
Robertson said: “I haven’t been performing the way I can at the TV stages in recent years, but this season I’m feeling a lot better. I’ve been working with Martin Perry, who is a confidence coach. That has helped me a lot because it is a different ball game when you are out there on the tv stage against the top players.”
World number four Ding Junhui negotiated a strong challenge from Cypriot Michael Georgiou to come through a 5-3 winner.
Since claiming his 13th ranking title earlier this season at the World Open, Ding has suffered a dip in form. China’s top star has dropped out in the second round or earlier at four of the six events he’s entered since his win in Yushan.
The 30-year-old put together contributions of 131, 71, 56 and 55 on his way to this afternoon’s victory. He’ll face either Jack Lisowski or Ricky Walden in the last 16.
Joe Perry recorded a narrow 5-4 defeat of world number 48 Yu Delu.
There was never more than a frame between the pair this afternoon, but it was the 2015 Players Champion Perry who compiled a run of 59 in the decider to help in progress to the last 16.
Judd Trump came out on top of a high quality encounter with former Welsh Open finalist Ben Woollaston 5-3.
The result could prove to be detrimental to Woollaston’s chances of clinching a place in the upcoming World Grand Prix. The Leicester potter lies 32nd in the final qualifying spot in the race to the Guild Hall. He’s currently just ahead of Liang Wenbo and Tom Ford who face each other this week.
The Ace in the Pack came into this event off the back of two disappointing defeats. He surrendered a 5-2 lead in his Masters semi-final clash with Kyren Wilson to lose 6-5 and missed out on a place at the China Open with a surprise 6-5 loss against world number 85 Jak Jones in qualifying.
However, this was a blistering display from Trump to secure his last 16 spot. The 2011 UK Champion fired in breaks of 109, 68, 94, 103 and 78 on his way to victory.
Trump said: “You aren’t going to get many games in the whole tournament that are a higher standard than that. Ben was unlucky, I played well today and he also played well. If he was against someone who lowered their standard a little bit he would have probably won.”
Mark Allen didn’t take the defeat too well as you can read here
Afterwards, Allen voiced his frustrations on Twitter in his typically straight-talking manner. He even said he wouldn’t be returning to the tournament until changes are made.
“So (my) hate/hate affair with the German masters continues,” he explained. “Seriously hate the event!! So distracting for all players who aren’t on table 1. Will not be back at the event until the setup changes!! Shootout up next in a week
“Such a shame by the way about Germany as it has the potential to be amazing!!! Great venue and packed crowds every day. Setup must change though”.
That he claims to hate the Berlin setup because of the distractions and be looking forward to the Shootout leaves me slightly nonplussed, I must admit. That said the setup is probably more “distracting” than the conventional one.
The other half of the round was played today, and this is the report on Worldsnooker:
Xiao Guodong outplayed World Champion Mark Selby to secure a 5-3 win and progress to the last 16 of the D88 German Masters in Berlin.
Xiao has already enjoyed a victory over the world number one this season. The 2013 Shanghai Masters finalist defeated Selby 4-1 in their last 32 clash at the English Open in Barnsley.
Selby will leave the German capital disappointed that his bid to claim a second ranking title of the season this week was ended at the first hurdle. After suffering a second round exit at the UK Championship in December and losing out in the opening round at the Masters last month, he will be hoping to buck that trend at the upcoming World Grand Prix later this month.
Xiao looked the stronger player in this afternoon’s opening exchanges and breaks of 88, 52 and 80 helped him to take a 3-1 lead at the mid-session interval.
They traded sizeable contributions when they returned. Selby pulled one back with a break of 60, before Xiao restored his two frame advantage thanks to a run of 79. The Jester from Leicester responded compiling a break of 78 to make it 4-3. However, it was to no avail as Xiao came through a 5-3 victor.
“When I play in any tournament I don’t think about whether or not I am facing a top player. I just have to think to myself to keep enjoying it. Ronnie O’Sullivan has told me before that I need to enjoy snooker more,” said the world number 30. “You can try too hard. When you hit the ball you need to try not to think too much as there is a lot of pressure.”
Shaun Murphy put on an impressive display of break building to see off 1994 Masters champion Alan McManus 5-2.
The Scot took the opening two frames to lead 2-0. However, from there it was Murphy who took command of the tie. The Magician crafted runs of 138, 59 and 104 as he claimed five frames in a row to run out the victor.
Barry Hawkins’ hopes of being in Preston to defend his World Grand Prix title later this month were left hanging by a thread after suffering a 5-3 loss against Graeme Dott.
The top 32 players in this season’s money list will make the event at the Guild Hall and Hawkins, who is currently placed 43rd, will now need to reach the latter stages at next week’s Shoot Out to stand a chance of qualifying.
Liang Wenbo kept alive his hopes of a place in Preston with a 5-1 demolition of Tom Ford. While Ryan Day defeated Thepchaiya Un-Nooh by a 5-1 scoreline.
Hawkins will be all the more aggrieved because he was 3-0 up, only for “Dotty” – who never gives up – to win five on the bounce!
As for Mark Selby, this is a bit worrying. He never looked a winner out there, and, maybe I’m imagining things, but there was little fight in his demeanour as well. That’s not like the Selby we know.