That’s it, the last “2019” balls have been potted yesterday in Barnsley as the second round of qualifying matches for the 2020 German Masters was played to a conclusion.
Again, only 7 of the top 16 qualified for the main event in Berlin: Shaun Murphy, Ding Junhui, John Higgins, Neil Robertson, Mark Williams, Joe Perry, Judd Trump. This time the World Champion will be there, but the defending champion, Kyren Wilson is missing out. The biggest surprise is probably the absence of Mark Selby.
I won’t repeat what I said after the European Masters qualifiers concluded, but I haven’t changed my mind about this shambolic scheduling. If you missed the rant, it’s here.
Both the European Masters and the German Masters will provide great matches, and I’m certain that they will be very enjoyable events. But for the sponsors and organisers the outcome isn’t that great, and most European fans don’t have that many opportunities to see the top players live and many will be disappointed.
Thirteen players have qualified for both events: Mark Williams, Neil Robertson, John Higgins, Ding Junhui, Gary Wilson, Graeme Dott, Scott Donaldson, Luca Brecel, Zhao Xintong, Robert Milkins, Robbie Williams, Tian Pengfei, and Jak Jones (in ranking order).
Mark Williams has finally decided to get his head down and hit the practice table. It immediately paid off. Same applies to Luca Brecel it seems and it’s good to have Graeme Dott playing well again. Tian Pengfei is turning into a very consistent “danger man”. Jak Jones, ranked n°70, had a remarkable week in Barnsley, finishing the year with the scalp of n°17, Ali Carter.