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At the time of writing, two players have withdrawn: Gao Yang and Liang Wenbo. No reason has been given by WST for Gao Yan withdrawal, but Liang Wenbo was withdrawn because he tested positive for covid-19.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.
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.
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.