2022 European Masters(2) – Day 5 – Semi-Finals Day

The German fans were treated to two fantastic semi-finals matches yesterday in Fürth.

Here are the reports by WST:

Kyren Wilson 6-5 Ali Carter

Wilson Reaches Fürth Final

Kyren Wilson won a thrilling last four encounter with Ali Carter 6-5 to reach his 12th ranking event final at the BetVictor European Masters in Fürth.

Wilson was the last player to lift ranking silverware at the Stadthalle, having won the Paul Hunter Classic at the venue back in 2018. That was the second of his four ranking titles to date.

The Warrior will have the extra motivation of trying to end a ranking title drought which extends almost two years to his win at the 2020 BetVictor Championship League.

He now faces either Mark Williams or Barry Hawkins in tomorrow’s title match, which will be contested over the best of 17 frames to decide who takes home the £80,000 top prize.

The event winner will be guaranteed to move into pole position in the BetVictor Series. The player who accumulates the most prize money over the eight qualifying events will pick up a mouth watering £150,000 bonus.

Carter leaves Bavaria disappointed to have fallen two hurdles short of adding to his four career ranking titles. The two-time Crucible runner-up last lifted ranking silverware at the 2016 World Open.

Essex cueman Carter took the first frame this afternoon, before Wilson restored parity at 1-1 by claiming the second on a re-spotted black.

A run of 71 saw Wilson take to the front for the first time. However, Carter immediately responded with a century contribution of 120 to head into the mid-session locked level at 2-2.

When play resumed, it was Wilson who took a stranglehold on proceedings. A break of 87 saw him regain the lead and he then added the sixth frame on another re-spotted black to establish a 4-2 cushion.

The Captain clicked into gear and breaks of 73 and 69 saw him take two on the bounce, to draw level once more at 4-4. Carter then led for the first time since the opening frame at 5-4 and moved himself just one from the win.

World number eight Wilson replied emphatically and forced a decider with a break of 75. He crafted a run of 53 at the start of the final frame and controlled the remainder of it to get himself over the line.

I’m really pleased. Ali turned it on from 4-2. I missed a cut back red when it looked like I had taken the match by the scruff of the neck. He found his timing and he is an awesome cueist. You can’t afford to let him off the hook. I was pleased with how I responded at 5-4 down. I made two good breaks and kept the pressure on,” said 30-year-old Wilson

He is comfortably one of the best match-players in the world. You know you have to be on top of your game and take your chances when they present themselves. It was one of those matches where I’d have enjoyed it either way. I’ve enjoyed it even more coming out on top.

It is clear to see from this afternoon, and all day yesterday, what an amazing atmosphere and what an amazing venue it is. You have to give every credit to Brandon Parker (Wilson’s ex manager who sadly passed away in 2020). He brought us both here and the Tempodrom in Berlin. Germany is a huge market for snooker and if it was down to me I’d be playing here four or five times a year.

Mark and Barry are two awesome players who are both on form and playing really well. Hopefully it goes 6-5 like this match and they are both shattered.

Kyran indeed lead by 4-2 but that score was a bit misleading and both players certainly knew that. Two of the six frames played up to that point had been decided on a re-spotted black, and both of them had gone Kyren’s way. Really however, there was nothing to separate them.

Kyren’s “wish” for an exhausted opponent didn’t come true: the whole match between Hawkins and Williams lasted just over three hours “elapse time” from the start of the ES broadcast to the handshake.  After the MSI, Barry Hawkins literally launched a “Blitzkrieg” on Willo… They resumed at 2-2 and Willo was first in. He scored 17 points…. and didn’t pot another ball!

Barry Hawkins 6-2 Mark Williams

Hawk Soars Past Williams

Barry Hawkins set up a repeat Fürth final with Kyren Wilson, after beating Mark Williams 6-2 in the last four of the BetVictor European Masters.

The Stadhalle is a happy hunting ground for the Hawk, who won the Paul Hunter Classic here back in 2019 with a 4-3 defeat of Wilson in the title match. Kettering’s Wilson has also enjoyed success here, having won the 2018 Paul Hunter Classic.

Hawkins and Wilson will face off over two sessions and the best of 17 frames tomorrow, with the winner picking up the £80,000 top prize.

Whoever holds the trophy aloft will also move to the front in the BetVictor Series. The player that accumulates the most prize money over the eight qualifying events will earn a huge £150,000 bonus.

Londoner Hawkins is also aiming to end a five year ranking title drought, with his last one coming at the 2017 World Grand Prix. Last season Hawkins lost finals at the Players Championship and the Masters.

Welshman Williams leaves Bavaria with the consolation of £17,500. Although this was the three-time World Champion’s best ever performance in this event, he will be disappointed to miss the opportunity to claim his 25th career ranking crown.

Hawkins made the best start this evening, coming from behind in the first two frames to take both on the pink and lead 2-0.

It was Williams who claimed a dramatic third to establish a foothold in the match. The frame came down to a re-spotted black, which he cross doubled to the green pocket. Williams then restored parity to head into the mid-session level at 2-2.

When play resumed it was Hawkins who sprinted for the finish line. A superb break building blitz saw him craft runs of 67, 89, 131 and 79 to take four on the spin and run out a 6-2 victor.

The last four frames were a bit of a blur. When you get in that rhythm and get in the zone, it just comes quite easily,” said 43-year-old Hawkins.

I’ve always shown Mark too much respect. I have so much admiration for the way he plays and what he has done in the game. Tonight I was determined to carry on what I’ve been doing in most of the tournament and concentrating on myself. Once I got into that little rhythm, I didn’t feel like missing to be honest with you.

I played Kyren in the final last time we were here. It is amazing it has happened again. Myself and Kyren have good memories here. It is strange the way things work out. It will be a great final and a great atmosphere. The German fans love their snooker and I’m looking forward to it.

So… today’s final will be a repeat of the last Paul Hunter Classic final and and clash between the winners of the last two instances of that beloved tournament. Bring it on!

It should in great match played in good spirits. Both finalists are fierce competitors as well as genuinely nice guys. They are both loved by the German fans. Barry Hwakins has been the heavier scorer so far: he has already got 8 centuries in this event.

Yesterday, David Hendon reflected that he didn’t see anyone in the crowd scrolling down on their phone. Everyone was watching the match. Indeed. Contrary to what I have witnessed so often in the UK, fans from mainland Europe are almost never glued on live betting sites during play…