2023 German Masters – Final’s Day

Today is Final’s Day in Berlin. Ali Carter is in the German Masters Final for the third time, having won the event in 2013. Tom Ford will attempt to win his first ranking title.

Here are WST reports on the semi-finals

Ali Carter beat Robert Milkins by 6-5

Carter Reaches Third Berlin Final

Ali Carter edged out Robert Milkins 6-5 in a pulsating semi-final encounter to reach the final of the BetVictor German Masters for the third time at Berlin’s iconic Tempodrom.

The Captain is hunting his first ranking silverware for almost seven years, with his most recent victory coming at the 2016 World Open. In all, he has four ranking titles to his name. Carter won the German Masters in 2013, when he beat Marco Fu in the final and he was runner-up to Anthony Hamilton in 2017.

Carter now faces either Jack Lisowski or Tom Ford in tomorrow’s final, where the Brandon Parker Trophy and a top prize of £80,000 will be up for grabs. The title match will be contested over the best of 19 frames.

It’s been a timely run this week for Carter, who has pushed himself comfortably inside top 16 on the one-year list. That puts him in position to qualify for the Players Championship, with just the BetVictor Welsh Open to go before the seeding cut off.

Defeat ends what has been a remarkable week for Milkins. He made a 147 break in yesterday evening’s quarter-final win over Chris Wakelin, having already made a 146 earlier in the week. That places Milkins in line for the £5,000 high break prize.

It was Milkins who started strongest this afternoon. The first two frames were shared, before the Gloucester cueman claimed a fiercely contested 32-minute tactical battle in the third to lead 2-1. He then clinched the fourth on the black to head into the mid-session with a 3-1 advantage.

When play resumed a break building blitz from Carter turned the match on its head. Runs of 72, 67, 133, and 83 saw him take four on the bounce and move one from the win at 5-3.

However, Milkins refused to wilt and kept himself alive with a century break of 109, before taking the tenth to force a decider at 5-5. It was a nervy final frame, but Carter amassed enough points across three separate breaks to get over the line and book his place in tomorrow’s final.

It’s massive. There was so much riding on that game, possibly the Players Championship, winning another title and just everything. I’ve had a good week and I was disappointed with how I went out in the first half of the match. I played really well to go 5-3 up and didn’t do much wrong to go 5-5. It was nip and tuck in the final frame. It is an amazing arena out there and an amazing event. I am delighted to be in my third final,” said 43-year-old Carter.

There are millions of thoughts that go through your head during a decider. You just have to try and keep your mind quiet. I just kept saying to myself that if I get a chance I am going to have to be peeled off the table. I wasn’t going to go until all of the balls were in the pocket. It was a massive win and I am pleased to be the victor today.

It would mean everything to win tomorrow. It is all about winning. I am obviously delighted to get to the final but if I didn’t come out on top, I would be devastated. For the top boys like myself who have won before, coming second isn’t good enough. We come here to win tournaments, it doesn’t happen very often. You have to take it when it is your turn and I hope that tomorrow it is my turn.”

Tom Ford beat Jack Lisowski by 6-5

Ford Edges Lisowski In Thriller

Tom Ford survived a nerve jangling final frame to beat Jack Lisowski 6-5 and reach the BetVictor German Masters final in Berlin.

A 2,000 strong Tempodrom crowd watched on as Lisowski rallied to force a decider from 5-3 down. He had the first opportunity to win and composed a break of 52 to give himself a healthy lead. That was made all the better by leaving Ford tight behind the brown ball at the end of his visit.

Ford threw his arm at it in the hope of some good fortune. He left Lisowski on a red, but the world number 12 spurned his opportunity and Leicester’s Ford stepped in with a nerveless match winning clearance of 63.

His reward is a best of 19 clash against Ali Carter in tomorrow’s final, with a top prize of £80,000 and the Brandon Parker Trophy up for grabs. After 20 seasons as a professional, Ford is hunting a maiden ranking crown. Essex’s four-time ranking event winner Carter is looking for his first victory since the 2016 World Open.

Tomorrow will only be Ford’s second ever appearance in a ranking event final. The first came at the 2016 Paul Hunter Classic, where he was pipped to the first prize by Mark Selby.

Defeat will be a bitter pill to swallow for Lisowski, who’s wait for a maiden ranking title goes on. The six-time ranking event finalist has been knocking on the door this season, having also made the semis at the UK Championship, as well as the invitational Masters. However, the 31-year-old leaves Berlin disappointed to not have claimed his first piece of silverware.

Ford looked impressive in taking the opening two frames this evening to open up an early 2-0 advantage. Lisowski responded emphatically and breaks of 102 and 84 helped him to restore parity heading into the mid-session interval.

When play resumed it was Ford who surged in front. Contributions of 70, 104 and 89 helped him to take three of the next four frames and move one from the win at 5-3. Lisowski showed great character to stay in contention by taking the next two frames to force a decider. However, it was Ford who prevailed to earn his place in tomorrow’s title match.

Ford said: “I was lucky in the last, because when I was behind the brown I just had to have a hit and hope. I couldn’t land on a red. I left him one and he missed it, so he is going to be kicking himself. I felt good towards the end. Normally when the matches go longer you don’t feel as good. I actually fancied clearing up when I got in.

It is a brilliant atmosphere out there. I think I had about four people wanting me to win though. They were all Jack Lisowski fans! The crowd was really good. When we both walked out we had a really good applause.

It would be great to win tomorrow. I didn’t start the season, well then I managed to get to the UK Championship semi-finals. I gave Ding a 5-0 start and started playing. Hopefully I can get off to a good start tomorrow and take the trophy home for my little one.”

In both matches, the player with the strongest mental won, and if that proves to be the case today again, I definitely have to make Ali the favourite although I would love to see Tom Ford win his first ranking title. I met Jack many times, I like him as a person but as a player I find him very frustrating to watch.

Other than the matches report, WST also published this:

2024 German Masters Extended To Seven Days

We are delighted to announce that the final stages of the 2024 German Masters will be extended from five to seven days, with the event running from January 29th to February 4th at the iconic Tempodrom in Berlin.

With record crowds at this year’s event, the decision has been taken to add an extra two days of action in 2024. The format and qualification criteria are still under consideration and will be released in due course.

Tickets go on sale next week from Friday February 10th and certain sessions are expected to reach capacity quickly, so don’t miss out. Look out for purchase details at www.snookerstars.de.

The German Masters is already one of the highlights on the snooker calendar and these changes are set to enhance the reputation of the tournament even further.

With crowds of over 2,000, the Tempodrom boasts an incredible atmosphere and the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump, Mark Williams, Ding Junhui and Mark Selby have all lifted the trophy there. Fans from Germany and around the world are encouraged to make the trip to Berlin to witness this unique event.

This is extremely good news. Every year, a lot of top players are missing the television stages and this year was particularly bad in that regard. I used to think that having the qualifiers as the last event before Christmas was the reason for it, but that didn’t happen this year and the outcome was just the same. The truth probably is that the uninspiring atmosphere of the qualifiers is a leveller. Many top players probably fail to find the motivation and inspiration that they need to play at their best. It’s a shame for the German fans and the event. I hope that next year there will be only one round of qualifiers, and it would be even better if those qualifiers were held in Germany right before the main event.

5 thoughts on “2023 German Masters – Final’s Day

  1. It would be difficult for some players if qualifiers are held in Germany/other places(as first round losers always receive no money and tickets costs around 400?) even 20000 pound subsidy still available next year.

    Ought to be a sponsor for tickets.

    Made me remind Mark Allen criticizing the cost of tickets to China tournaments(as business seats – LondonShangHai – are quite expensive 4000~15000(X2) Pounds – excluding additional fees)!

    • This is true but it’s only less expensive for the UK players. The others have to live away from their country, which comes at a huge cost, and is difficult psychologically as well, or travel to every qualifiers in the UK. That’s what the Belgians do. I want to end this UK centric organisation that systematically favours the UK players in all sorts of ways. Also the German fans would actually see their wildcards. Now, every year, a couple of young Germans or Austrian youngsters get a wild card, need to travel to the UK to “qualify” by winning two matches. They never succeed and never make to the venue. That makes no sense.

      • Monique, after looking some news/past facts in China, the voice of EU players should also be heard.

        They may start another “tour”/converted to other billards if they are ignored for long! (Just like in China, Chinese 8 balls had started their first year of professional tour! Not only they took the prize money but also talented players, audience and tables!)

        Hope the business fraction of WPBSA will think how to develop in EU. (at least in point of finding more prize money for more players. Just feel not optimistic if situation goes like this- likes of CAZOO)

    • Or the tour should spread the annual subsidy into appearance fee(which participated first round loser receives 1800, 20000/11 tournaments). If no plans of subsidy in the future, it should be taken from proportions of others. (especially from winners to semi-finalists)

      At least players will be encouraged to participate/not to withdraw unless strong reasons.
      (I mean you Stephen!)

  2. Indeed, Rolf Kalb addressed the audience on Wednesday, and did say that the qualifiers being held immediately after the UK Championship was the reason for so many top absentees. I had worries about the future of the German Masters, but in fact the attendance was so good that they can afford an expansion. But the tournament needs reform, not least to reward the German public.

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