Today’s final in Berlin will be contested between Judd Trump and Neil Robertson.
This is how they got there:
Judd Trump secured his place in the final of the BetVictor German Masters following a hard fought 6-4 defeat of Graeme Dott in Berlin.
World Champion Trump is through to his fifth final of the current World Snooker Tour season. Trump, a winner of 14 ranking titles, has already secured victories at the International Championship, the World Open and the Northern Ireland Open this campaign. He was runner-up to Neil Robertson at the Champion of Champions.
The Ace in the Pack is a former finalist in Berlin, having lost to Ding Junhui in 2014, but he is yet to pick up the title at the Tempodrom. Tomorrow will be the 24th ranking final of his career and he will face either Shaun Murphy or Neil Robertson over 17 frames for the title and the £80,000 top prize.
Dott, who was runner-up to Mark Williams in 2018, leaves with the consolation of £20,000 for reaching the semis and will now turn his attention to next week’s Coral World Grand Prix in Cheltenham.
They traded the first two frames today, before Dott stole the third on the black. Scotland’s 2006 World Champion then had a chance to move further ahead, but missed a red to the top corner which allowed Trump to step in and level at 2-2 heading into the mid-session.
The match continued to swing back and forth, until Trump seized the initiative by composing a break of 70 to move 4-3 ahead. The following frame came down to a lengthy safety battle on the final brown. Eventually Dott prevailed, clearing the table after depositing a steely black to draw level at 4-4.
Trump produced his best at the crucial moment in the ninth frame, potting a long red from a Dott safety and firing in a break of 110 to move one from victory. He wrapped things up with a break of 42 in the next to secure his place in the final.
Trump said: “I missed my opportunities early on. Graeme kept fighting back and I just tried to stay positive after he made it 4-4. I know from experience in the past that when an opponent wins an important frame they can get so pumped that they forget to do the rest of the job. I made a great break in the next frame to go 5-4 up.
“This is one of the best venues when it gets down to one table. It is up there with the Masters. The noise when you walk out is amazing. The crowd support both players. Every single game they are very fair. It is an excellent arena for snooker.
“It is important to try and tick off all the events that I haven’t won. It is always nice to go to new places and win new events. This is one I haven’t won in the past and that I always look forward to coming to.”
Dott said: “I felt I got what I deserved out of the game. I thought Judd was the better player and I was hanging on. You never know what could have happened when it went 4-4. It could have changed, but it didn’t.
“My game has been good. It has been consistent. You are just hoping that it all falls in the one week. It could have been this week, but it wasn’t so we go to next week and try again.”
Neil Robertson put on a blistering display to beat Shaun Murphy 6-1 and reach the BetVictor German Masters final in Berlin.
Robertson will now meet World Champion and world number one Judd Trump over the best of 17 frames, with both players seeking their maiden German Masters crown and the £80,000 top prize.
Robertson is one win away from securing the £150,000 BetVictor European Series bonus with two tournaments to spare, having won last week’s European Masters. Victory for Trump would leave the series well and truly alive with the Shoot Out and Gibraltar Open still to come.
Australia’s 2010 World Champion Robertson has been dominant throughout this week and that can be highlighted by the fact he has only dropped two frames on his way to the final.
After Robertson secured a tightly contested opening frame this evening in front of over 2,500 fans in a packed Tempodrom, the encounter burst into life. Murphy composed a fine run of 92 to restore parity and had looked to be in a good position to claim the next. The Magician missed a red to end his run on 53 and Robertson ruthlessly stepped in to clear with 73 to move 2-1 ahead.
From that point onwards it was total dominance from 37-year-old Robertson. Breaks of 136, 62, 53 and 129 saw him blitz to the line and win 6-1 to set up tomorrow’s meeting with Trump.
“It was amazing. The atmosphere was absolutely incredible. You have to pinch yourself to be a top snooker player these days to play in front of these kinds of crowds,” said Robertson. “I felt like Russell Crowe in Gladiator. I thought I was going to have to search for a sword and shield and put a helmet on. It has that colosseum effect and is the closest thing I’ve seen to the Wembley Conference Centre. Alexandra Palace is amazing and the Crucible one-table setup is too, but this is something else because the crowd is really vocal and there are so many people.
“I’ve just carried on from last week. I only dropped a few frames then as well. I am like that in practise, I get really annoyed if I lose a frame to anyone. I think maybe the Masters was a friendly reminder of how the game can bite you in the back if you don’t keep your foot down. I am really pleased. You have to make a lot of things happen and get a little bit of luck in some close frames, but I think I have been really good value for that record.
“The occasion tomorrow will be enough. I don’t have time to think about other things like where I am in the order of merit. I have been working hard and preparing well. I think I have made a huge change in that regard over the last few years. I have been doing everything I possibly can to get the best results and I am really proud of myself with the way it has paid off.”
Murphy said: “The test against a Triple Crown champion is different to everyone else. With respect to the other players, those who have won all three of those major championships are a sterner test. He’s played unbelievably well all week and on present form there is only one winner in the final tomorrow.”
Neither finalist has won the German Masters before. If both play today the way they played all week, there is only one winner, Neil Robertson and he should win comfortably. But of course every day is different and the Tempodrom on the Finals day is a very special place. Just read what Neil had to say about it. This is why – rich sponsors or not – the European events deserve better. Betting is nowhere near in our culture as it is in the UK and the states won’t sponsor a sport that isn’t even recognised as a sport. But the interest is there. And a lot of young Europeans did well in the last WSF event. If Barry Hearn really wants to grow the sport internationally, he has to “invest” in those events and raise the prize money as well as to move the qualifiers to a better slot in the calendar, or better, just before the event at a venue nearby. The local sponsoring will come eventually.