Day 3 at the 2022 European Masters qualifiers brought us the second maximum of the season, and the 178th in competitive snooker. Other than that it threw a few surprises as well.
Robertson Wins From 4-0 Down
Jimmy Robertson enjoyed one of his best ever fight backs as he came from 4-0 down to beat Zhao Jianbo 5-4 in the qualifying round of the BetVictor European Masters.
Robertson won this event in 2018 and will have the chance to compete for the title again at the final stages in Furth, Germany, which run from August 16 to 21.
His chances looked slim when China’s Zhao reeled off the first four frames with breaks of 82, 53, 63 and 69. But opportunities to seal the result came and went for Zhao, as Robertson battled back to take the next four frames with top runs of 65 and 51. The decider lasted 43 minutes and came down the colours, Robertson clearing from green to pink for victory.
Hossein Vafaei made his first official 147 in a 5-1 defeat of Ng On Yee – for more on that story click here.
Stuart Bingham came from 3-2 down to beat Michael Holt 5-3 with a top break of 69, while amateur Daniel Wells top scored with 85 in a 5-3 victory over Peter Lines.
James Cahill fired runs of 75, 94, 55 and 90 in a 5-1 thrashing of Adam Duffy, while Anthony Hamilton’s top break of 86 helped him beat Mark King 5-2 in a match between two players with 62 years of experience on the pro tour.
Turkish Masters runner-up Matthew Selt suffered a surprise 5-1 defeat against amateur Haydon Pinhey, who made breaks of 65, 70, 68 and 74. Jackson Page made a 76 in the decider to edge out Hammad Miah 5-4. Rory McLeod recovered a 4-1 deficit to beat Elliot Slessor 5-4.
And here is the account on Hossein’s 147:
Maximum Joy For Prince Of Persia
Hossein Vafaei became the first player from Iran to score an official 147 as he fired a maximum during his BetVictor European Masters qualifying match against Ng On Yee.
Vafaei’s 147 came in the last frame of a 5-1 victory. After losing the opening frame, the BetVictor Shoot Out champion made breaks of 70 and 62 in taking a 4-1 lead before finishing the match in the perfect way. His previous high break in professional competition was 146.
It’s the second maximum in two days in Leicester, as Zhang Anda also made his first 147 on Saturday. They will share the tournament’s £5,000 high break prize as long as the maximum is not equalled.
It’s the 178th 147 in snooker history and second of the season.
How Jimmy Robertson won that match, I dont know. Actually, that’s not true, I do know how it happened: he battled back, tried very hard, and was massively helped by his opponent mistakes after the MSI. I can’t help to wonder what would have happened if there had been no MSI and my feeling is that Zhao Jianbo would have won the match 5-0. Zhao had plenty of chances to finish it off, he had chances in every frame after the MSI, he had multiple chances in the decider. This was a meltdown if I ever saw one and it ptobably only happened because he had 15 minutes to ponder on what he was about to achieve. Jimmy has loads of experience in pro and amateur competitions, he knows how to handle such situation. This has not always been the case, he had to learn it. It took him more time than most expected to fulfil his potential. Zhao is only 18. I hope he has the right people around him, to help him learn from this bad experience so that he is better equipped when he finds himself in that situation again in the future.
There is no mention of the match between David Grace and Ben Mertens. Why? David Grace won that one by 5-2, It was a painful match to watch. Both struggled. Ben went 2-1 up and didn’t win another frame. Although neither player was “slow” going by their AST, it was a slow, fragmented match. The only “telling” break was a 51 by Ben in frame 3. There was no fluency at all: countless mistakes and ball running awkward. I like both players but I didn’t enjoy the match at all.
No mention either of Si Jiahui’s good win over the experienced Tian Pengfei BUT there is a report on the Hamilton vs King match that was actually played the previous day!
Don’t ask (I won’t).
One thought on “The 2022 European Masters Qualifiers – Day 3”
It was a setback for Zhao, but he will be fine. Worse was Hammad Miah’s loss from a winning position. He tried to roll-up for a decisive snooker to win 5-3, but left it short. It was extremely careless.
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