Yesterday was the last featuring round 1 matches …
Leclercq and Davis Secure Shock Wins
Julien Leclercq and Mark Davis staged major shocks at BetVictor German Masters qualifying, defeating three-time World Champion Mark Williams and 2019 Crucible king Judd Trump respectively.
Belgian 19-year-old Leclercq produced a fine performance to beat Williams 5-4 and score the biggest win of his fledgling career. He turned professional at the beginning of the season after winning the Q-Tour Playoff. Until now Leclercq’s biggest result dated back to 2021 World Championship qualifying, where he defeated Soheil Vahedi 6-5 in the opening round.
Leclercq held his nerve and composed a break of 61 to get himself over the line in the decider this morning. He now moves one win away from the final stages in Berlin. Next up he faces Louis Heathcote in the final round.
Former English Open finalist Davis also prevailed by a 5-4 scoreline, but he had to stave off a fightback from two-time German Masters winner Trump, who rallied from 4-2 down to force a decider.
Breaks of 85, 93, 69 and 55 helped former English Open runner-up Davis to secure his 4-2 lead. However, it was at that moment 23-time ranking event winner Trump showed his class to turn up the heat. He crafted runs of 127 and 56 to take the tie to a final frame.
Trump had the first chance, but it was Davis who made a break of 72 to win on the pink. He now faces Joe O’Connor for a place in Berlin.
Chris Wakelin earned his Berlin berth with a 5-3 defeat of Ben Woollaston in the final round, while Joe Perry beat Ryan Thomerson 5-1 to qualify.
John Higgins defeated Hong Kong’s Marco Fu 5-3 to make the final round. He now plays Daniel Wells in the final round, who beat Michael Judge 5-4.
Once again the word “shock” is being overused. Although Julien’s win is a big achievement at this stage of his career and shouldn’t be underestimated, the full story should also mention that Mark Williams came on twitter after the match, stating that playing had been a mistake as he is far from fully recovered from his food poisoning. He still feels poorly and he said that his participation in the Scottish Open is “doubtful”.
I didn’t see much of the Davis v Trump match as I was shooting away somewhere in Sofia but I do know how good Davis is when at his best and, going by the scores, he was close to his best yesterday.
As always all the detailed results are on snooker.org. The last of those results records Reanne Evans’s 5-4 defeat to Adam Duffy. Reanne came later on social media with this downbeat comment: “I used to enjoy this… “. That doesn’t look great 😟.
One thought on “The 2023 German Masters Qualifiers – Day 5”
Of course player’s comments after losing a close match will reflect their huge disappointment. Regardless of how Reanne Evans feels now, she will certainly accept an automatic extension to her tour card for next season, as there are now lucrative benefits for the 4 women players. But it does highlight that there are cracks appearing in this rigid “2-year tour card” system. We are also seeing an increasing number of top-up amateurs getting to last-32 and beyond, even though with 130 professional players that’s not really supposed to happen. The fact is, there are a lot of very good players not on tour, and some uncompetitive players who are on tour. This will get worse next season with only 8 Q School places available.
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