2021 German Masters Qualifiers – Days 1 & 2

Today will see the conclusion of the last 128 round of this season German Masters. We have some interesting clashes between young players on the morning menu:

  • Pang Junxu v Alex Ursenbacher
  • Zhou Yuelong v Lukas Kleckers
  • Peter Devlin v Iulian Boiko

Before we enjoy that let’s have a look at what happened over the last two days.

Tuesday – WST report:

Ding Through In Milton Keynes

Ding Junhui produced a battling display to beat Martin Gould 5-3 in a high quality clash at BetVictor German Masters qualifying in Milton Keynes.

Today’s match was a meeting between two former winners of the event. Ding lifted the trophy in 2014 when he defeated Judd Trump in the final, while Gould secured his only ranking title to date with a memorable defeat of Luca Brecel in 2016.

China’s number one Ding, who will begin the defence of his UK Championship crown later this month, took the opener with a break of 52. However, Gould hit back with consecutive runs of 125 and 98 to move 2-1 ahead.

Ding restored parity with a contribution of 73, before a break of 110 saw him edge back ahead. Gould drew level at 3-3, but from there Ding charged to the line. Breaks of 77 and 80 saw him move one win away from the final stages. Ding will face Ashley Carty in the last qualifying round on Friday.

Defending champion and world number one Judd Trump progressed with a 5-2 win over 2017 German Masters winner Anthony Hamilton.  The Ace in the Pack top scored with a break of 100 and faces Peter Lines in the next round.

Amateur Paul Davison stunned former German Masters winner Mark Williams to progress with a 5-4 win.

Davison, 47, has spent 20 seasons as a professional throughout his career, but has never been beyond the last 16 of a ranking event. However, he only trailed three-time World Champion Williams once in today’s contest. Davison’s next opponent will be Ryan Day.

Chinese 17-year-old Lei Peifan came from behind and beat former Crucible semi-finalist Gary Wilson 5-4. Lei had trailed 3-1, but composed breaks of 88, 112, 62 and 58 to win four of the next five frames and seal his progression. He’ll play Duane Jones in the final round, who defeated Allan Taylor 5-4.

Shaun Murphy fired in the sixth 147 break of his career in beating Chen Zifan 5-0. The magic break came in the second frame of the match and puts him in line for the £5,000 high break prize. Murphy faces Ian Burns up next.

Alan McManus set up an all-Scottish clash in the final qualifying round after beating Barry Pinches 5-2. He’ll now face Stephen Maguire, who received a bye after Rod Lawler was forced to withdraw.

There was an incident in the deciding frame of the Mark Williams  v Paul Davison match. Williams had snookered Davison behind the yellow. Davison was leading by 57-44 with one red left on the table. Davison, escaping from the snooker, hit the red , and snookered Williams in the process. Mark immediately reacted, claiming that his opponent had hit the yellow whilst playing the escape. The referree, Desislava Bozhilova, who was standing near the top of the table, didn’t see it, and didn’t call a foul. Paul Davison didn’t own to it either.

You can watch the incident here

It’s hard to tell. Enlarging the image makes it quite blurry but it seems indeed that Willo was right. If so, he had every reason to be fuming on social media later because he should have been awarded a free ball and would very likely have won the match from there.

Mark Williams is not the kind to dwell on such things for long. Having got it out of his system, he promptly turned his attention to the prospect of playing golf, claiming that he wasn’t playing well enough anyway.

Paul Davison however was branded a “a cheat” on social media, and Desislava “incompetetent”. Desi was standing at the other side of the table, her attention on the red that Paul needed to hit. If the yellow did move, it was very little and in her direction, therefore not easy to spot from where she was. On the side tables I don’t think referees have any access to the footage to possibly check. Did Paul “surely” feel the contact? Well, I’m not so “sure” because, if there was a contact, it was a “brush” more than a “hit”,  his attention was on hitting the red … and this was a deciding frame, with all the pressure that comes with the situation.

Tuesday – Shaun Murphy makes a maximum

Magician Conjures 147

Shaun Murphy made the sixth maximum break of his career during his opening match at the BetVictor German Masters qualifiers in Milton Keynes.

Murphy’s perfect break came in the second frame of his match against Chen Zifan. He joins Ding Junhui and Stuart Bingham on six career 147s, and only three players have made more: Ronnie O’Sullivan (15), John Higgins (11) and Stephen Hendry (11).

World number six Murphy is in line for the tournament high break prize of £5,000, having made his first 147 since 2016.

It’s the third maximum break of the season, following 147s from Ryan Day and John Higgins, and 160th in snooker history.

You can watch it here:

There are some great shots in there.

Wednesday – Tian Pengfei tests positive to Covid-19

Tian Pengfei Tests Positive For Covid-19

Tian Pengfei has tested positive for Covid-19 upon arrival at snooker’s BetVictor German Masters qualifiers in Milton Keynes and has been withdrawn from the event.

Tian was due to play Ashley Hugill on Wednesday evening, so Hugill receives a bye to the second round of the world ranking event.

All other players and officials tested at the event so far have had negative results.

Tian will now undergo a period of self isolation and will receive the support of WST. He will also be withdrawn from next week’s Northern Ireland Open at the same venue. He was due to play Noppon Saengkham in the first round of that event so Saengkham receives a bye to round two.

Since WST events restarted in June, strict Covid-19 regulations have been and continue to be followed, under UK Government guidance.

Wednesday – WST report

World number five Kyren Wilson swept to a 5-0 win over Zak Surety at BetVictor German Masters qualifying in Milton Keynes.

Wilson won the German Masters in 2019, beating David Gilbert 9-7 in the final to claim the third of his four career ranking titles.

The Warrior wasted little time in seeing off Surety today. He opened the match with consecutive breaks of 126 and 124, before securing the remaining three frames to win in just one and a quarter hours.

Chinese 20-year-old Yuan Sijun recorded a surprise 5-2 defeat of world number 12 David Gilbert. He will now face Jimmy Robertson, who beat Malta’s Alex Borg 5-1, for a place in the final stages.

Liang Wenbo secured a 5-2 defeat of 1997 World Champion Ken Doherty. The Firecracker made breaks of 88 and 51 on his way to victory and will play Irish teenager Aaron Hill up next.

Sam Craigie recorded an impressive 5-4 defeat of Yan Bingtao, while Anthony McGill emerged a 5-3 victor against Zhao Jianbo.

Other results worth noting are:

Robbie Williams beat Florian Nüßle by 5-4 in a hard fought match that went to the last black. It’s a shame for the young Austrian Champion. He’s only 18 but he is already a very good hard match player.

Jak Jones beat Si Jiahui, by 5-3, in a match that finished about an hour later than any other match in that session. Jak’s AST is nearly 32 seconds and it was even longer at some points earlier in the match. Just as well that he won the last frame in one visit with a 97…

One thought on “2021 German Masters Qualifiers – Days 1 & 2

  1. Gary Wilson and Dave Gilbert reached the semi-finals of the World Championship last year, but it seems a long time ago now. Obviously, every player has had their own experience of lockdown, and loss of form can be expected from some. Lei Peifan has a very rudimentary technique, and is prone to accidents off the table, but he seems composed and scored very heavily. It suggests he may have a future in the game, perhaps in a few years.

    As for the Williams-Davison incident, I really wish snooker would make some attempt to join the 21st century and look at technologies. The position of the balls should be digitally recorded between each shot, which is necessary for foul-and-a-miss replacement in any case. I suggest a pitched sound indicating how far a ball is from its original position. It’s really not that difficult technically, and probably not costly. Referees squatting and sighting is an embarrassment in this day and age, and it disrupts a player’s concentration.

    Nodoubt broadcasters would promote the Carter-Bond match today – two ‘big names’. But the Allen-Gao match might be interesting if Gao performs and Allen has a hangover from his triumph last week.

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