Tour News – 25.01.2022

The 2022 German Masters starts tomorrow in Berlin and it’s the first event to be played outside the UK since the 2020 Gibraltar Open. A crowd will be allowed, but capped at 2000 viewers … which is more that twice the Crucible capacity, mind you.

At the time of writing, two players have withdrawn: Gao Yang and Liang Wenbo. No reason has been given by WST for Gao Yan withdrawal, but Liang Wenbo was  withdrawn because he tested positive for covid-19. Regarding Gao, a Chinese friend suggested that he might have got problems to get his visa because he’s under 18 years of age, hence still legally a child.

The tournament is the last counting towards the Players Championship qualification. As it stands Mark Selby and Anthony McGill need to win two matches to overcome Barry Hawkins, currently 16th on the one year list. Barry has not qualified for the event.

Judd Trump was due to play Gao Yang and is already through to the last 16. Should Anthony win his first match against Zhou Yuelong, he would  play Judd next.  It’s not an easy match for either of them and there will be pressure on both because Judd himself is not entirely safe for the Players Championship.

Mark Selby should beat Barry Pinches in the last 32. Should he do that, he would face Yan Bingtao or David Gilbert next.

I hope that all players will make it to Germany. I read on social media that some fans who were planning to fly to Berlin from the UK had their fligths cancelled last minute. This has a flavour of déjà-vu. You will probably remember that a number of players missed the last Gibraltar Open because of problems with their booked flights and because they had not enough time to find a suitable alternative.

WST has also revealed who will be the wildcards at the Turkish Masters:

Nirvana Turkish Masters Wild Cards

Enes Bakirci and Ismail Turker have been awarded wild card places in the Nirvana Turkish Masters which will run from March 7 to 13 in Antalya.

Ismail Turker (left) is the current Turkish champion

The draw for the new world ranking event will be released on Wednesday. The top four players will be seeded through to the final venue in Turkey, along with the two wild cards. All other players will compete in a qualifying round next week in Leicester, each needing to win one match to make it to Antalya.

Turker, age 31, is a two-time and reigning Turkish national champion, having beaten Bakirci 4-1 in the final last year.

Bakirci, age 25, won national championship in 2020 when he beat Turker 4-3 in the final, from 3-0 down.

The fantastic Nirvana Cosmopolitan Hotel  will host the final stages of the Nirvana Turkish Masters in March. Players will be competing for a top prize of £100,000 and total prize money of £500,000.

It will be the first world ranking event played in Turkey. Antalya is renowned as one of Europe’s outstanding destinations, known for its culture, history and ideal location on the Mediterranean coast.

So, the draw should be available tomorrow.




2 thoughts on “Tour News – 25.01.2022

  1. I am now in Berlin. I got the London City Airport flight, which was quite busy but not full, and there were no delays. I can confirm Mark Selby, Kyren Wilson, Jimmy Robertson and Michael Georgiou have made it – they were on the same flight. I also bumped into Jan Verhaas at the hotel, so we have an event! But of course there is a daily covid testing ‘bus’ which might spoil things at the last minute.

    To get into Germany I needed full vaccine (but not necessarily booster, which I have anyway), an entry registration (a formality), and a PCR test which I took this morning at the airport. My flight (British Airways) also required those. The hotel needed German registration and the vaccine certificate. The testing bus opens at 1pm (10am on Thursday). For that reason, the snooker sessions may begin a little later than advertised.

    Yes, I think Gao Yang had a problem because of his age. It’s a pity for him to miss out on the Tempodrom, and I’m sure he would have wanted to improve on his previous two matches against Trump. The problem with players having to withdraw at this stage is it opens up byes in effectively the 3rd round. Whilst that can happen at any time with covid, there are more reasons to have to withdraw when travelling to different juristictions (e.g. a mistake filling out all the forms), and of course the previous round was played several months ago.

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