2022 British Open and 2022 Hong Kong Masters News

The draw for the second round of the 2022 British Open has been made:

Cazoo British Open Second Round Draw

The draw for the last 64 of the Cazoo British Open has been made. The tournament runs from September 26 to October 2 at the Marshall Arena, MK Stadium in Milton Keynes.

CLICK HERE to watch the draw being made

Defending champion Mark Williams will face Ben Woollaston if he gets through his first round match against Andres Petrov. The top 16 seeds have all had their first round matches held over to the final venue.

World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan is up against Alexander Ursenbacher in the first round, and victory would set up a tie with Joe O’Connor.

Wilson and Hawkins could meet again

Kyren Wilson and Barry Hawkins met in the final of the recent BetVictor European Masters and they will go head to head again if they both win their opening ties.

Three-time Women’s World Champion Ng On Yee beat Ken Doherty in the qualifying round and her reward is a meeting with Jordan Brown.

The match schedule will be released soon. The full draw is:

Jamie Jones v Elliot Slessor
Zhao Xintong or Bai Langning v Stuart Bingham or Lei Peifan 
Ding Junhui v Hossein Vafaei or Joe Perry
Zhang Jiankang v Jak Jones
David Gilbert v Lyu Haotian
Mark Selby or Ricky Walden v Mark Joyce 
Jordan Brown v Ng On Yee
Craig Steadman v Ben Mertens
Jack Lisowski or Dominic Dale v Mitchell Mann 
John Higgins or Andy Hicks v Yuan Sijun
Luca Brecel or Graeme Dott v Anthony McGill or Wu Yize
David Grace v Xu Si
Dean Young v Judd Trump or Si Jiahui
Li Hang v Mark Allen or Stuart Carrington
Andy Lee v Yan Bingtao or Oliver Brown
Gerard Greene v Ryan Day
Lu Ning v Zhou Yuelong
Ben Woollaston v Mark Williams or Andres Petrov
Tian Pengfei v Jimmy Robertson
Robbie Williams v Lukas Kleckers
Anthony Hamilton v Jamie Clarke
Kyren Wilson or Mark Davis v Barry Hawkins or Duane Jones
Noppon Saengkham v Fraser Patrick
Chen Zifan v Ross Muir
John Astley v Chang Bingyu
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh v Matthew Stevens
Xiao Guodong v Peter Lines
Ronnie O’Sullivan or Alexander Ursenbacher v Joe O’Connor
Dylan Emery v Cao Yupeng 
Shaun Murphy or Gary Wilson v Zhang Anda
Zhao Jianbo v Ian Burns
Steven Hallworth v Hammad Miah

The automatically generated subtitles surely stemmed from the best intentions – helping the fans with impaired hearing – but the result is often hilarious and at times surrealistic. I feel no “shame” at writing the above, being partially deaf myself.

The draw for the 2022 Hong Kong Masters was done yesterday in Hong Kong.

2022 Hong Kong Masters Draw

It is already available on snooker.org

In this article by the South China Morning Post, you will find more information about the organisation of the tournament, the covid-related constraints and the potential future issues

Hong Kong Masters snooker tournament on course for October with ‘closed loop’

  • Officials announce line-up for 8-player tournament featuring likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump and Mark Selby
  • It comes after government’s late cap on numbers at running and swimming races plunged other sports events into uncertainty

Shirley Chui

Ronnie in play
Ronnie O’Sullivan plays a shot during the final of the previous Hong Kong Masters, in 2017 – and he is expected to return this October. Photo: AFP

Organisers of the snooker’s Hong Kong Masters have unveiled the line-up for the tournament and said it has government permission to proceed in October under a “closed loop” arrangement.

Snooker bosses held a press conference on Friday to announce their latest plans, which include the players remaining in a bubble between their hotel and tournament venue the Hong Kong Coliseum, instead of undergoing the hotel quarantine usually required for arrivals in the city.

Current world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan and former world champions Mark Selby and Judd Trump were among the players announced on Friday for the tournament, to be held between October 6 and 9. A capacity of 8,000 spectators is expected, which could result in the world’s highest ever attendance for a snooker event.

Vincent Law Wing-chung, the chairman of the Hong Kong Billiard Sports Control Council, said details of the closed loop – the model used for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics – were still to be finalised, but a balance was being struck between the requirements of the city’s government and those of the snooker governing body.

2022 Hong Kong Masters Draw-2
Vincent Law presents the Hong Kong Masters draw. Photo: Shirley Chui

Players will not be allowed to go out freely – they will be protected inside the bubble,” Law said. “One of the conditions that the World Snooker Tour imposed on us to host this event was that if there was quarantine, they would not allow their players to come here.”

I would say that [the closed-loop solution] is not their preference, but we managed to convince them it is worth their time to come.”

Law admitted that the bubble set-up was less than ideal after the positive impression on the players by the previous Masters in 2017, when Robertson beat O’Sullivan in the final.

When the rest of the world is back to normal, it is hard for the overseas players to see why Hong Kong’s pandemic restrictions are so behind,” Law said. “A bubble is the only way for them to come.

Of course, it is better if there are no bubbles, and the world’s top players can have some contact with the city’s snooker fans, but we still hope that spectators can get close to the star players.”

We’ve been spending time on persuading top players to come. They know that even with pandemic restrictions, they still expect a good show in Hong Kong.

The show will begin with a quarter-final line-up that pits O’Sullivan against Hong Kong’s three-time women’s world champion Ng On-yee, with her fellow home favourite Marco Fu Ka-chun taking on Selby, Zhao Xintong of China playing Neil Robertson and Trump facing John Higgins.

Concerns over the viability of sporting events in the city had risen after a last-minute cap was this week imposed by the Hong Kong government – citing Covid-19 concerns – on numbers taking part in a 10km athletics race and swimming’s Cross Harbour Race.

That decision led to the 10km race’s cancellation four days before the event – placing question marks over other sports events going ahead in Hong Kong this year.

Events in the pipeline include the Hong Kong Marathon, the Hong Kong Open badminton tournament and rugby’s Hong Kong Sevens, all in November.

I totally understand those organisers’ situation, I feel their disappointment,” Law said. “But we are different, we are like a concert, and the 10K and Cross Harbour Race involved more than hundreds of people racing.

We can’t worry too much – we’ve been through the last two years of ups and downs, and the government’s policy towards the pandemic was difficult to predict.

All we can do is try our best and hope for a good show.”

The organisers of the Sevens had already been granted permission to proceed with a tournament in a “closed loop”.

The plans include players and stadium staff staying in designated hotels, an 85 per cent stadium capacity, and spectators being allowed to drink in the stands, though not eat.

Snooker bosses previously aimed to arrange their tournament in early August, then delayed until October after the necessary approvals did not emerge in time.

And this is the (latish) piece by WST:

Star-Studded Field For Snooker’s Hong Kong Masters

Six of snooker’s greatest players – as well as the two local favourites – will compete in the Hong Kong Masters in October.

World Snooker Tour and Hong Kong Billiard Sports Control Council (HKBSCC) recently announced that the tournament would be staged for the first time since 2017 and would be held at the Hong Kong Coliseum venue for four days from October 6th to 9th.

The line-up of players and the draw can now be announced:

Mark Selby v Marco Fu (October 6 at 1.30pm)
Neil Robertson v Zhao Xintong (October 6 at 7pm)
Judd Trump v John Higgins (October 7 at 1.30pm)
Ronnie O’Sullivan v Ng On Yee (October 7 at 7pm)

The quarter-finals on October 6 and 7 will be best of nine frames, then the two semi-finals and the final on October 8 and 9 are best of 11 frames. An Exhibition Game, an exciting competition between legendary foreign players and home-grown elite athletes, is also expected.

Chairman of the HKBSCC Vincent Law (second from right) announced the draw at today’s press conference in Hong Kong

In his speech at today’s press conference, Chairman of the HKBSCC Vincent Law expressed his excitement for the return of the prestigious event. He said: “For the first time, the Hong Kong Masters 2022 will be held in the Hong Kong Coliseum, making it one of the largest snooker tournaments in history. It will provide an unparalleled opportunity for local fans to catch a glimpse of the World Champion superstars and for all of us to indulge in the world of snooker, further promoting the sport of snooker among the local community.

This tournament is under exclusive sponsorship of The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), as one of the many initiatives supported by the HKJC’s approved donation of HK$630 million to the Government of the HKSAR to mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR. The Hong Kong Jockey Club is resolute in pursuing its purpose of acting continuously for the betterment of society, all in support of creating stronger communities together.

Tickets go on sale on September 7 and are sure to be in high demand to see some of the world’s greatest sporting stars. For details follow the official website of the tournament: www.snookermasters.hk

Hopefully everything goes well…

2022 Northern Ireland Open Qualifiers – Day 3

The talking point yesterday was, of ourse, Jimmy White’s victory over Yuan Sijun and that’s what “dominates”  WST report:

Whirlwind Excited By Belfast Chance

Jimmy White made a marvellous total clearance in the deciding frame to beat Yuan Sijun 4-3 and qualify for the final stages of the BetVictor Northern Ireland Open.

White names the Belfast Waterfront as one of the world’s top five snooker venues

White turned 60 in May this year but has proved already this season that he is still competitive on the pro tour – he beat Andrew Pagett to qualify for the final stages of the recent BetVictor European Masters and clocked up another victory today in Wigan.

The Whirlwind goes through to the Belfast Waterfront for the first BetVictor Home Nations event of the season, running from October 16-23. Mark Allen will be defending the title, with the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump, Neil Robertson, Mark Selby and John Higgins also in the field.

Crowd favourite White built a 3-1 lead before Yuan fought back to 3-3. The decider was an exhibition of fluent potting from White as his 132 put him into the last 64.

He then revealed that his son Tommy, the youngest of his five children, is helping him to practise and that has given the ten-time ranking event winner new motivation.

Tommy is working with me, getting the balls out for me,” said White. “So instead of just an hour and a half on the practice table, he is making me do my four hours. He has had a year off work and has decided to come with me on the tour until the World Championship next April.

We go walking on the Epsom Downs at home, it helps me get up and do that with him. But it’s mainly to do proper practice.

I played well to go 3-1 up today, then I didn’t really get a shot until 3-3. So to make that big century to win the match, I was absolutely delighted. When you are not getting any victories it becomes much harder to get over the line so hopefully I can move forward from there. It is all about confidence this game, and if you start to win it helps take the pressure off.”

Looking ahead to the trip to Belfast, White added: “I have been going to the Waterfront since I was 17 or 18, playing the great, late Alex Higgins. I played many exhibitions against Alex there, plus tournaments, and I would say it is one of the top five venues that we play at. There is always a great atmosphere.

I was due to be going there anyway to work for Eurosport, so to win this match and to be involved as a player means I’ll look forward to it even more.

Three-time UK Champion Ding Junhui came from 1-0 down to beat Ali Carter 4-1. Louis Heathcote closed with a run of 101 as he beat Dean Young 4-2, while Michael White saw off Liam Highfield by the same scoreline. Tom Ford fired runs of 69, 67 and 71 as he beat Sanderson Lam 4-1.

Of course, at 60, Jimmy is hardly the “future of the game”,  but he’s an endearing character, he still put bums on seats and his longevity is quite simply extraordinary.

Other than that, I was pleased to see Ding playing well again until … a major failure happened at the venue, live scores died for hours and the streaming on ES was off for the day.  The weird thing though is that the “dead” streaming was available on some Chinese sites. Try to understand that … I can’t.



2022 Northern Ireland Open Qualifiers – Day 2

Life came in the way of snooker yesterday in the form of floods caused by violent thunderstorms and heavy rains … yes, no kidding, you can get that on a Greek island in the middle of the summer.

Fllodsinthe way of snooker
What I woke up to…

It’s all getting back under control now… no worries guys!

But, of course, I didn’t watch a thing yesterday, so can’t comment on the matches.

Here is WST report:

Fan Ends Losing Streak

Fan Zhengyi scored a 4-0 victory over Ashley Hugill in the qualifying round of the BetVictor Northern Ireland Open, ending a six-month streak without a win.

China’s Fan won the BetVictor European Masters in February this year with a shock 9-8 defeat of Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final, then lost his next five consecutive matches. So today’s result, highlighted by a break of 68 in the third frame, will come as a relief to the 21-year-old as he booked his place in the final stages in Belfast in October.

Si Jiahui, a quarter-finalist at last week’s BetVictor European Masters, scored a 4-3 success over Anton Kazakov. China’s Si knocked in breaks of 134, 66, 55 and 75.

Hossein Vafaei also top scored with 134 as he beat Mark Davis 4-0, while John Astley edged out Wu Yize 4-3. Andy Hicks top scored with 94 in a 4-1 win over Zhang Anda, while Craig Steadman came from 3-2 down to beat former World Champion Graeme Dott 4-3.

Runs of 52 and 95 helped Jordan Brown see off Andrew Pagett 4-0, and Dominic Dale beat Rebecca Kenna by the same scoreline.

I was very happy when I found out about Fan’s win. I didn’t expect it, and, of course didn’t expect that score. Maybe this has to do with Roger Leighton’s presence in Wigan. Roger is one of the best technical coaches in the world and usually forms a strong bond with his “students”.  Three of them were in action yesterday: Fan, Si and Wu.

Si also won with very high scoring but the score was still 4-3. This is surely an indication that Anton Kazakov is making progress and fast.

As for Rebecca Kenna, please, don’t be harsh on her. She’s not used to professional conditions, she has to work to earn a living, she’s a married woman. She will give it everything, and she will improve, but she has to balance many things.



2022 Northern Ireland Open Qualiers – Day 1 … and some more snooker news

The first day at the 2022 Northern Ireland Open qualifiers brought some surprises, the biggest one probably being Mink’s win over Mitchell Mann.

Here is the report by WST:

Nutcharut Scores First Professional Win

Women’s World Champion Mink Nutcharut scored her first ever match win on the World Snooker Tour, defeating Mitchell Mann 4-2 in qualifying for the BetVictor Northern Ireland Open.

Thailand’s Nutcharut has already established herself as a superstar of the women’s game. She became the first ever female player to make a verified 147 in 2019 and landed her first world title earlier this year, by beating Wendy Jans 6-5 in the women’s world final.

A scrappy first four frames went the way of 22-year-old Nutcharut this afternoon, as she established a surprise 3-1 lead. World number 71 Mann battled to stay in contention and breaks of 54 and 50 helped him to claw one back. However, Nutcharut produced a gutsy run of 47 at the beginning of the sixth and that was enough to see her through as a 4-2 victor.

Nutcharut will now compete in the final stages at the Waterfront Hall in Belfast, which run from October 16th to 23rd. She will face either Ricky Walden or Xiao Guodong.

Welshman Jamie Jones succumbed to a surprise 4-1 loss against Hong Kong’s Andy Lee. However, Jones’ compatriot and tour rookie Dylan Emery scored an impressive 4-1 win over Cao Yupeng.

Ben Woollaston scored a 4-1 win over Ryan Day to secure his place in Belfast, while Stephen Maguire defeated Oliver Brown 4-2 to progress.

Mink now trains at Victoria’s snooker academy, where she plays fellow professionals every day, notably Yan Bingtao. She’s very determined and the way she has improved since the start of the season is really impressive.

Dylan Emery showed his quality again. The match was closer than the scores suggest. It was Dylan however who managed to stay calm and dominate in the key moments. This was the case in frames 3 and 4 in particular.

Not mentioned above …

On Yee Ng was also in action yesterday. She lost by 4-1 to Chen Zifan. In the early stages of that match Chen ruthlessly punished On Yee’s mistakes … as he should, of course. The last two frames were very close. On Yee improved during the match but it was too little, too late.

In other news … 

The wildcards for the 2022 English Open have been annouced:

Beresford And Ullah Named English Wild Cards

Callum Beresford and Lewis Ullah have been awarded places in the BetVictor English Open, as the two nominations from the English Partnership For Snooker and Billiards.

The BetVictor Home Nations Series event will run from December 12 to 18 and will be staged at the Brentwood Centre in Essex for the first time.

Beresford, age 21 from Yorkshire, is the current EPSB Under-21 Champion, having beaten Oliver Sykes 8-2 in this year’s final.

Ullah, age 20 from Burnley, finished number one on the EPSB Under-21 Premier Tour rankings last season.

Both players will be included in the field for the event when the draw is made in October.

And Igor Figueiredo has lost his professional status

Igor Figueiredo’s WPBSA membership has lapsed therefore he is no longer a professional player on the World Snooker Tour and has been removed from the world rankings.

Igor moved back to his native Brazil in 2021 and has been unable to compete in the tour since then. We wish him all the best for the future.

It’s a shame but, on the other hand, Igor has a young family and being so far away from them was extremely difficult for him, as it was for his family as well. He only had limited success on the main tour and it probably wasn’t worth all the sacrifices, especially considering that Igor is over 40… not a kid with time on his side.

Snooker (and Pool) News – 22.08.2022

This is a day without snooker but not without snooker, and pool, news …

The qualifiers for the 2022 Northern Ireland Open start tomorrow, and will be played over six days. The top 16 players are not involved in those qualifiers.

After that, there will be nearly a month without any snooker other that the six-reds World Championship in Thailand … if it happens. I write “if it happens” because I have heard rumours that it might not actually happen. Those rumours are however unconfirmed and the event is still on WST calendar.

Hopefully it will happen, but, even so, September will be a rather “empty” month for most snooker players. As a Ronnie fan, I’m glad that he won’t miss many events because of his arm injury, but as a fan of the sport, well … this is not great.

Some of the top guys aren’t going to stay idle though … 

Mark Allen and Mark Selby sign up for Ultimate Pool events during quiet snooker period

Mark Allen and Mark Selby
Mark Allen and Mark Selby are swapping snooker tables for pool tables (Pictures: Getty)

Mark Allen has signed up to make his debut in Ultimate Pool, while Mark Selby is returning for more pool action in the coming days in a quiet time on the snooker calendar.

The Pistol is playing in the Ultimate Pool Players Championship over 3-4 September, drawn in a group alongside pool legend Michael Hill, as well as Ronan McCarthy, Emma Cunningham, Eddie Barker and Luke Gilbert in the 8-ball event.

As Ultimate Pool explain: ‘All six contestants will compete in the hectic round robin on Saturday, playing each other in quickfire races to six frames against the clock on one main arena table.

The top four players at the end of the day will qualify for Sunday’s knockout phase; following the group final on Sunday night, the last player standing will advance to November’s eight-player Finals Weekend.

After missing out on the European Masters this week, Allen is not back in action on the snooker table until the British Open, starting on 26 September, so he is making the most of the pretty spacious gaps on the calendar and heading to the Players Pool and Snooker Lounge in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Selby is back in Ultimate Pool to play alongside brother-in-law Gareth Potts in the Pairs Cup, as they did last year.

Selby did play in the European Masters this week in Furth, but is not playing again until the World Mixed Doubles on 24 September in Milton Keynes.

Mark Selby Gareth Potts
Selby and Potts enjoyed teaming up last year (Picture: Ultimate Pool)

The four-time snooker world champion will be in action on 29 August, which you can see on FreeSports in the UK, while to watch Allen, you will have to sign up to ultimatepool.tv to stream the Players Championship.

Allen is the latest snooker player to have a crack at a pool tournament after Judd Trump’s trip to the States to take on the US Open and the likes of Gary Wilson and Martin Gould had a stab at the UK Open earlier this year.

Why not eh?

Mark Selby, of course, has history in pool. He was the 2006 World Eight-ball Pool Federation champion and runner-up at the Chinese Eight-ball World Championship in 2015. He’s the only man to have been world champion in both snooker and pool.

The WBBSA reports on future World Snooker Federation and WWS events in Australia

Australia to Host 2023 World Snooker Federation Championships

The World Snooker Federation (WSF), in association with the Australian Billiards and Snooker Council (ABSC), has today announced that the 2023 WSF Championships will be held at in Sydney, Australia.

The Championships will run from 31 January – 11 February and will include two prestigious open tournaments each carrying a World Snooker Tour card for the winner.

Organised by the WSF, working in partnership with snooker’s world governing body the WPBSA, and the ABSC, the fourth staging of the Championships will be held at the Mt Pritchard District and Community Club, known as ‘Mounties’ in the western suburbs of Sydney, Australia.

As in 2022, the event will include the WSF Championship (4-11 February 2023), previously won by Luo Honghao, Ashley Hugill and most recently, Si Jiahui, who defeated Lee Stephens 5-0 earlier this year to earn his place on the World Snooker Tour.

The event will also see the third staging of the WSF Junior Championship (31 January – 3 February 2023), which has seen Gao Yang and Anton Kazakov lift the trophy in previous years.

Both tournaments will once again be open to players of all nationalities and genders, with the winner of each to earn a two-year professional Tour card from the start of the 2023/24 season. There will also be additional opportunities for elite performers at the event to compete at World Snooker Tour events.

Alongside the Junior Championships, the Asia-Pacific Women’s Snooker Championships will be staged by the ABSC, together with World Women’s Snooker (WWS). Learn more at the WWS website.

Jason Ferguson, WSF President said: “I am delighted with today’s announcement that this season’s WSF Championships will be held in Sydney, Australia.

Since its inaugural staging in Malta back in 2018, the event has continued to grow and is now recognised as the most prestigious amateur snooker competition in the world, offering direct access to the professional World Snooker Tour.

With the unwavering support of the ABSC, it has long been our ambition to bring the event to Australia and despite the challenges posed to us all by the coronavirus pandemic over the past two and a half years, we are excited now to be able to confirm its staging in 2023.

Mounties is a world-class venue and together with our partners we are all hugely excited by the prospect of what will be a fantastic event.

Entry for both tournaments will be made through WPBSA SnookerScores with further information to be released in due course.

Meanwhile the IBSF 2022 “Youth” snooker championships continues in Romania,

Liam Davies from Wales has won the under-16 event, beating Bulcsú Révész from Hungary in the final, and the under-18 event, beating Antoni Kawalski in the final. 

Also WPBSA has published the draw and schedule for thhis season first Q-Tour event

The draw and format for the first event of the WPBSA Q Tour are now available to view via WPBSA SnookerScores.

The event will take place at the North East Snooker Centre, North Shields, with 118 players in the draw. The tournament will run from 2-4 September 2022.








2022 European Masters(2) – Kyren Wilson is the Champion

Kyren Wilson beat Barry Hawkins by 9-3 yesterday evening in Fürth to win the first “knock-out” ranking event of the season.

Congratulations Kyren Wilson


Truth to be said though, it was a very disappointing final, not just because the score was so one-sided, but because it was a bad match, really low standard. Mind you, the winner only had one break over 50 all day, a 56 in the 8th frame… that’s all, that’s poor. It happens. We all have bad days and yesterday both finalists had a bad day. They tried with all they had, they were frustrated, nothing came easily. They are only human and the German fans never stopped to support them.  Thank you Fürth!

Here is the report by WST:

Wilson Master Of Fürth

Kyren Wilson swept Barry Hawkins aside 9-3 to land the fifth ranking title of his career with victory in the final of the BetVictor European Masters at the Stadthalle in Fürth.

Germany is a happy hunting ground for Wilson, who has now won three of his five ranking tournaments here. Fürth in particular holds special memories for the Kettering cueman, as he also won the Paul Hunter Classic at the Stadhalle in 2018 and was runner-up in 2019. Tonight’s win ends a two-year ranking title drought for Wilson, which extended back to the 2020 BetVictor Championship League.

The £80,000 top prize catapults 30-year-old Wilson to the top of the BetVictor Series rankings. The player who accumulates the most prize money over the eight qualifying events will land a bumper £150,000 bonus. Victory will also see Wilson move from eighth to sixth place in the world rankings.

Hawkins has now lost his last four ranking finals, as well as suffering defeat in the title match of the Masters last season. The Londoner last lifted ranking silverware at the 2017 World Grand Prix. He leaves Bavaria with the consolation of the £35,000 runner-up prize.

It was Wilson who emerged from this afternoon’s play with a commanding 6-2 advantage, leaving him needing just three frames for the title.

Wilson extended his cushion by taking the first of the evening on the black to move five ahead. However, Hawkins showed his resilience by taking the tenth to keep himself in contention at 7-3. It was to no avail, as Wilson claimed two on the bounce to get over the line.

We both lost our timing today. You’d have to say we are the two form players of the week, we’ve produced some great snooker. It just didn’t quite happen today in terms of the standard. I set my mind on winning ugly. It was all about getting the trophy today and I was really pleased to do that,” said 2020 Crucible finalist Wilson.

I enjoy that I am appreciated here in Germany. That may sound silly, but every shot here produces a rapturous applause. The crowds always turn out in their numbers here. I always perform my best when the atmosphere is good and when I feel like I’m wanted.

This is the first major ranking event of the season. To get it under my belt early makes me feel like I can settle and I can kick on. Once you’ve banked one you hope it could pave the way for a few more, but it is just about enjoying this one tonight.

Hawkins said: “I am very disappointed. It was a struggle all day and the way the match went it could have been 9-3 to me. I wish it was. Kyren stuck to his task and picked me off. It was a bad day. You know it is bad when you are playing for reds that don’t even go.

The atmosphere is always good in Germany. The fans here are very enthusiastic and the players love coming here. We always get well supported and we really appreciate it. Please keep coming in the future.

The claim by Barry that it could have been 9-3 to him may look crazy, but it’s true. He had several opportunities in every single frame. He never managed to click into gear.



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…