2021 German Masters – Day 1

Only seven top 16 players had qualified for the  final stages of the 2021 German Masters. John Higgins tested positive for covid-19 meant that only six remained in the draw. Four of them were in action yesterday, and we lost two more: Shaun Murphy and Stephen Maguire.

Here is the report by WST:

Trump Victorious On Return

Judd Trump bounced back from the disappointment of sitting out the Masters earlier this month by securing a comprehensive 5-1 win over Mark Davis at the BildBet German Masters.

World number one Trump was forced to watch from home during the Masters after returning a positive Covid-19 test before his first round match. Following a period of self-isolation, this evening provided the perfect opportunity to make up for lost time.

The Ace in the Pack is aiming to defend his title this week, having won the German Masters 12 months ago. He beat Neil Robertson 9-6 in the final in Berlin.

Trump eased to victory in under an hour and a half tonight. The 2019 World Champion composed breaks of 57, 78, 68 and 52 to sweep world number 45 Davis aside. He now faces an intriguing last 16 clash with Joe Perry

Trump said: “I am trying to play in as many tournaments as possible at the moment. I’m really enjoying my snooker and it is just nice to be back in the swing of things, nice to be back at a tournament and nice to be playing again.

“Joe is a really solid player, same as Mark Davis really. They have both been around for a while and you have to play at the top of your game to have a chance.”

Dominic Dale never led Stephen Maguire until the final frame, as he edged a 5-4 win in their last 32 clash.

Dale, a winner of two ranking titles, crucially stole the fourth frame by a point, having required three snookers at one stage. That ensured the Spaceman went into the mid-session level at 2-2.

They shared the following four, as the match came down to a deciding ninth frame. Welshman Dale produced a fine break of 70 under pressure to seal the win. He faces Ding Junhui up next.

Tom Ford went on a break building blitz as he eased past Yuan Sijun 5-0. Leicester cueman Ford fired in runs of 131, 54, 79, 66 and 132 on his way to the win.

World number 82 Jamie O’Neill stunned Triple Crown winner Shaun Murphy with a shock 5-4 victory, while Jordan Brown defeated Graeme Dott 5-2.

I find it quite strange that there is no mention of Ding in this report, as he is the only member of the top 16, other than Judd Trump, who went through. He beat Kaçper Filipiak by 5-4. I only watched the deciding frame of that match. Both players had a lot of chances, and neither could string more than a few balls together. Ding should have lost that match really, Kaçper was well ahead in that final frame. But eventually Ding  got over the line with a decent clearance. If he doesn’t play better today, Dominic Dale has every chance to reach the quarter finals.

Judd Trump played well, but Mark Davis certainly had chances. He couldn’t take them. Other than his 78 in frame four, he struggled  to construct any telling break, mainly because more often than not he found himself out of position after only a few shots.

I felt for Shaun Murphy yesterday. He isn’t in a good place mentally, travel restrictions mean that he has been away from his family a lot, he’s still grieving his close friend and former manager, Brandon Parker, and this particular tournament has certainly brough back all the memories very vividly. I’m sure that Shaun badly wanted to win it, in honour of Brandon. He probably put far too much pressure on himself. I can’t remember him playing that poorly for a long time. He kept misjudging his shots, colliding with balls unintentionally and sending them everywhere. It was strange and unsettling.