The 2022 European Masters Qualifiers – Day 2

WST report on day 2 at the 2022 European Masters is short and mainly about Zhang Anda’s 147:

Zhang Joins 147 Club

Zhang Anda made the first maximum break of his career during a 5-1 victory over Anton Kazakov in the BetVictor European Masters qualifying round.

After losing the opening frame, world number 87 Zhang enjoyed his perfect break in the second, potting 15 reds with blacks and clearing the colours. The 30-year-old from China will earn the tournament’s £5,000 high break prize if the 147 is not equalled. It’s the 177th maximum in snooker history and first of the 2022/23 season.

Zhang went on to take the next four frames with top breaks of 91, 80 and 72 as he secured his place in the final stages in Germany next month.

Marco Fu scored his first win in a ranking event since the 2020 European Masters, beating David Gilbert 5-1 with top breaks of 69, 67 and 115. Fu has spend most of the past two years at home in Hong Kong due to travel restrictions, but having returned to the UK this season he is looking to resurrect his career.

Cazoo UK Champion Zhao Xintong eased to a 5-2 success over Fraser Patrick, knocking in breaks of 132, 63, 56, 67 and 70. Barry Hawkins top scored with 106 in a 5-1 defeat of Gerard Greene.

Xiao Guodong made four centuries as he beat Xu Si 5-4 in an enthralling Chinese derby. A run of 103 from Xiao made the score 1-1 then he lost three frames in succession. He hit back to take the next four with runs of 106, 103 and 115.

Remarkably, Zhang’s highest break in a professional match was “only” 140 before yesterday…  Anton Kazakoz, Anda’s opponent, very sportingly showed his appreciation for some of the difficult shots And had to play, notably on the colors.

Marco Fu certainly did put the work in because the improvements in his game, as compared to his recent CLS outing, are massive. The only obvious remaining weakness yesterday was his long potting.

Lyu Haotion played well again, which is nice to see. Chang Bingyu had four breaks over 50 in his demolition of Ian Martin. Ian himself made a 96 in the only frame he won.

Maybe it’s because it was the last match of the day, but there is nothing here about Antony Hamilton’s 5-2 victory over Mark King. It was 2-2 at the MSI. After that Mark only scored 4 points, and I’m not sure if he potted a couple of ball or if he was awarded a 4 points penalty following a foul by Anthony… What happened there???

3 thoughts on “The 2022 European Masters Qualifiers – Day 2

  1. I’ve seen Zhang Anda get 142 in a Chinese pro-am event. He’s always been a skilful player, but there are some shots he doesn’t play, and some conditions which don’t suit his game. He plays within his limitations. But since his covid-related sabbatical, he has made steady progress back and has a good chance to stay on tour.

    • I can only suppose that this event didn’t come into account for WPBSA stats then. I certainly respect Zhang Anda’s skills. My first World Championship, as a photographer, was in 2010. I had been invited to the qualifiers by Lee Gorton, Ricky Walden’s manager. Zhang beat Ricky by 10-8 in the last round. He played a very clever game, neutralising Ricky’s scoring power. He then drew Stephen Hendry in the first round proper. People on forums were expecting Hendry to wipe the floor with Zhang. Having seen what had happenend with Ricky, I disagreed and… well … “what does a girl undertand about snooker, he?”. But Hendry only beat him in a decider, largely because of his experience. The fans were expecting Zhang to throw his cue at everything only to allow Hendry to pick the pieces after his mistakes. Instead, he played a good “all-round” game and, like with Ricky, was able to stop Hendry’s heavy scoring.

      • Yes, but part of the problem is that Zhang Anda seems only to be remembered for that one match, when he was 17. He’s actually won several tournaments in China, where his record is extremely good. I watched him play in the UK Championship a few years ago, against Kurt Maflin in the ‘sports hall’ where the conditions were heavy. Within about 10 minutes he was disillusioned about the table conditions. The winners that night were Maflin, Mark Joyce, Dan Wells,.. – big powerful men. He does what he can, and if splitting the reds and going for 147’s isn’t his game, that’s OK. Sometimes it’s good to watch a sensible player.

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