2023 German Masters Qualifiers – Days 1 and 2

Six players booked their place at the Tempodrom yesterday: Zhao Xintong, Anthony McGill, Tom Ford, Tian Pengfei and Sam Craigie.

This is the report by WST:

Zhao Secures Berlin Return

Defending champion Zhao Xintong will be in Berlin for the final stages of the 2023 BetVictor German Masters, after defeating Pakistan’s Muhammad Asif 5-1 in the last round of qualifying.

China’s Zhao emphatically won the title earlier this year, beating compatriot and close friend Yan Bingtao 9-0 in the final to get his hands on the Brandon Parker Trophy.

Zhao made breaks of 71, 108, 102 and 58 on his way to this afternoon’s victory over Asif. The 2021 UK Champion needed just 69 minutes to wrap up the win, averaging a rapid 15.4 seconds a shot.

Anthony McGill stormed to a spot in the final stages with a 5-0 demolition of Allan Taylor. Former Crucible semi-finalist McGill dropped just a single frame during the qualifying process, having recorded a 5-1 defeat of Jamie O’Neill yesterday. This afternoon’s tie saw two-time ranking event winner McGill compose breaks of 73, 58, 96 and 61 en route to victory.

Tom Ford earned a trip to Berlin with a 5-1 defeat of 1997 World Champion Ken Doherty. Ford continues his fine form, which saw him make the semi-finals of last week’s UK Championship.

Sam Craigie also carried his momentum from York, where he made the UK Championship quarter-finals. Craigie beat Jamie Clarke 5-2 to make the final stages.

Former European Masters winner Jimmy Robertson progressed with a 5-2 win over Jak Jones, while Tian Pengfei beat Michael White 5-2 to qualify.

The evening saw one of the shocks of the season so far, with tour rookie Peng Yisong defeating four-time World Champion Mark Selby 5-4. A steely break of 72 in the decider saw Peng move one match from the final stages. He faces Ian Burns up next.

In the morning session, some of snooker’s big names booked places in the final round of qualifying. Newly crowned UK Champion Mark Allen beat Peter Lines 5-2, Neil Robertson defeated Bai Langning 5-2 and Yan Bingtao scored a 5-2 victory against Rod Lawler.

Zhao fell short in his defence of his UK Championship title, exiting the competition early, but he played really well yesterday. Asif’s game probably suited him. Both attack and play an open game. They provided a fast entertaining match.

I don’t like the way the word “shock” is over-used in sport but Peng beating Selby, and beating him in a deciding frame, was totally unexpected. Peng is not the most fancied of the young Chinese players but he is improving. This win can only boost his confidence and motivation. Mark Selby looks happier than he was last season but his game is not in great shape at the moment, to say the least.

The other surprise yesterday was Jimmy White’s 5-3 win over Mark Joyce. This currently brings Jimmy to the 4th place in the season’s “one year rescue lost”.

On Monday, we had a couple of “mild” surprise results as Sam Craigie demolished Stephen Maguire by 5-2 and Michael White beat Ryan Day by 5-3. We also had two matches that really went to the wire. Jak Jones beat Lyu Haotian by 5-4 and Alan Taylor beat Yuan Sijun by the same score. Lyu and Jak set a few “targets” during their match. Lyu scored a 137 in frame 6, the highest break in the tournament for now. Their deciding frame lasted 92 minutes and 26 seconds, the longest of the season so far.

Yesterday, Zhao Jianbo, who replaces the suspended Liang Wenbo, beat Ashley Hugill by 5-1, an unexpected scoreline. Ashley was extremely slow all match, his AST was close to 40 sec at one point.

All detailed results are available on snooker.org.

5 thoughts on “2023 German Masters Qualifiers – Days 1 and 2

  1. Jimmy White has an invitational card I suppose so he isnt in danger of falling off the Tour? Like Kurt Maflin did. My close friend from Norway. 😇👍🇳🇴 Br. TrickWik of Norwegian Eurosport

    • Jimmy has an invitational Tour card. Those cards expire after two years. It’s WST/WPBSA discretion to offer a new one or not. So nothing is guaranteed for Jimmy unless he re-qualifies through one of the “regular” routes

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