Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

German Masters 2017 - Discussion

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • German Masters 2017 - Discussion

    So, the German Masters starts tomorrow...

    It is the fifth of the seven major ranking tournaments this season, and probably my least favourite. My main problem with it is its duration, as five days doesn't really make for a proper "snooker week", and the whole thing feels a little rushed. It also has arguably the worst TV coverage of any major event. Only one table is usually shown, with no backup plan if the match finishes early. And to make matters worse, the TV choices are notoriously poor in snooker, so we could be in for a few disappointing sessions.

    Like last year, the qualifiers have filtered out quite a few of the top players, so the field is relatively weak this week. The biggest names missing are John Higgins, Judd Trump, Shaun Murphy, Joe Perry, Kyren Wilson and Anthony McGill. Unfortunately the qualifiers were played back in December, so there is no guarantee that the players who knocked those six out are still in good form, but one can always hope. Let's see who has made it to Berlin...

    Quarter 1:

    Martin Gould v. Jamie Jones
    Ricky Walden v. John Astley
    Mark Allen v. Ryan Day
    Robin Hull v. Jimmy White

    Martin Gould is top seed as defending champion, but I think most people would agree that he is not really among the big favourites this week. In fact, he hasn't reached the business end of any major event since winning here last year, so the last 12 months have been quite poor for a player of his standard. Perhaps coming back to the place of his biggest success in snooker so far will see him find some inspiration again. He has a tricky 1st round match against Jamie Jones, the third meeting between them this season. Gould won the first one in India, but Jones got some revenge in Romania three months later. Jones too struggled for a while after reaching his first major semi-final in Australia last season, but lately he has found some decent form again, most notably in his run to the quarter-finals of the UK Championship. This is his German Masters debut, so it will be interesting to see how he copes with the unique atmosphere of the Tempodrom. Ricky Walden is perhaps the favourite to reach the quarter-finals in this section, but he too has been in underwhelming form this season and has dropped out of the top16 as a result. His best run this season is a quarter-final in Manchester, and he won two matches in each of the last four events that carried ranking points, so consistency is not really a big problem for him. At this stage of his career he really should be looking to win major titles though. He lost in the qualifiers of the German Masters in the last three years, so I am sure he is looking forward to playing at the venue again, and a somewhat weakened field here gives him a decent chance. Also here is John Astley, a quarter-finalist in Riga this season, but he hasn't done much outside of the short-format tournaments yet, apart from a good win over Kyren Wilson in the qualifiers for this event.

    Mark Allen and Ryan Day meet in one of the most exciting prospects of the 1st round. Allen has won most of the major matches between them in the past, especially in the more recent times, including a 6-5 win in the UK Championship this season. Day has the better record in the German Masters though, having reached the business end of the tournament in each of the last three editions, while Allen has never done anything of note here. They have both played alright this season. As usual, Day played his best snooker in China, reaching the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters back in September. He lost in the qualifiers for the China Open though, so he won't be making another trip to China this season. Allen, meanwhile, played his best snooker in the events just before new year, but never really got close to winning any title. He wasn't too bad at the Masters either, so he could take advantage of the favourable draw here. Jimmy White has been playing some respectable snooker this season and could perhaps be a danger for the two favourites here. He beat Day in Glasgow, for example, although he did lose to him on the bigger stage in the UK Championship. While I don't consider the results of the Paul Hunter Classic to be particularly relevant, White's run to the quarter-finals there was still a pleasant surprise, as was his win over Joe Perry in the qualifying for this event.

    Quarter 2:

    Tom Ford v. Peter Ebdon
    Ronnie O'Sullivan v. Mark King
    Allister Carter v. Stephen Maguire
    Akani Songsermsawad v. Zhao Xintong

    Ronnie O'Sullivan comes to Berlin on the back of a great win in the Masters, finally winning a major title in what has been a solid and consistent season for him. He won this event in 2012, at a time when he had been in danger of dropping out of the top16, and he went on to win the World Championship that season and saw a real resurgence in form. The only other time he played at this venue he went out in the quarter-finals, while the other editions of the German Masters saw him lose in the qualifiers or not enter at all. He opens with a match against Mark King, a tricky opponent and one of the few players on the tour who have a positive record against O'Sullivan in major matches. The most famous of course was King's 9-8 win over O'Sullivan in the 2005 UK Championship, when O'Sullivan spent half the match with a towel over his head. King won a match at the venue in each of the last four editions of the German Masters, but this is by far his toughest challenge. Winning the Northern Ireland Open was a brilliant achievement for him, but it stands out as the only notable result he has had all season, so I wouldn't consider him a big danger this week. The same goes for Peter Ebdon I suppose. He too has caused problems for O'Sullivan in the past, but it's worth pointing out that O'Sullivan has prevailed in all of their major meetings since that infamous World Championship quarter-final 12 years ago. Ebdon's best result this season is a quarter-final in the short-format Indian Open, whereas his performances in the major events have been fairly mediocre. He hasn't reached a major quarter-final in more than three years now, and losing in the qualifiers for the China Open is yet another setback for him in that respect. Tom Ford is actually a fairly similar case, he took advantage of a very favourable draw to reach the final of the short-format Paul Hunter Classic, then added a decent run in Manchester as well, but he hasn't done too well in the major events. He had a good win over Judd Trump to qualify for Berlin, but he too lost in the qualifiers for Beijing just recently.

    The match between Ali Carter and Stephen Maguire is another intriguing 1st round prospect. Carter is probably the favourite at this point in time, having won a major event this season, returning to the top16 as a result. He won this event in 2013, before his health problems escalated, and he could be a decent bet again this year. Maguire is just about the trickiest opponent he could have drawn though. Unlike Carter, Maguire is actually dropping down the rankings at the moment, and mid 20s must be the lowest he has been in a long time. He also missed out on the Masters for the first time in 12 years, and he failed to earn a place in the other two main invitationals this season as well. He lost 6-5 to Carter in the International Championship, from 5-2 up, and he also lost their biggest match to date, the semi-final of the 2012 World Championship, rather surprisingly for me at the time. On a more positive note, Maguire is one of the better performers in the German Masters' short history, having reached the business end of this event on four occasions, including a run to the final in 2012. He lacks a little consistency at the moment, but a run to the semi-finals in Shanghai this season shows he still has the game to be a contender. By contrast, the other pairing in this section is one of the weakest at first glance, but still fairly interesting, considering they are the two youngest players at the venue this week. Akani Songsermsawad impressed with a run to the quarter-finals in India at the start of the season, while Zhao Xintong hasn't actually had any notable runs, but he beat what was very much an in-form John Higgins to qualify for this event back in December.

    Quarter 3:

    Stuart Bingham v. Zhang Yong
    Marco Fu v. David Gilbert
    Michael Holt v. Stuart Carrington
    Dominic Dale v. Yan Bingtao

    Stuart Bingham has never reached the quarter-finals of the German Masters, but he comes here on the back of a very consistent season so far, so he has every chance to do something this week. He has already reached three ranking semi-finals this season, two of them major ones, plus the final of a major invitational event in China. Standing in his way here is Marco Fu though, a player who has been in equally good form this season, and he happens to have a pretty good record against Bingham as well. He was great in the two tournaments just before new year, particularly in Scotland, and he played very well in the Masters as well. He reached the final here in 2013, can he go one better this year? His defeat in the China Open qualifiers is perhaps not the best sign, but then again, one never knows with Fu. David Gilbert is another dangerman in this section, a quarter-finalist in the World Open this season. He generally plays better outside of short matches, and he has beaten Fu on the big stage a couple of times already, including Shanghai this season. He has lost both of his matches against Bingham this season though, in Shanghai and in Manchester, and he is yet to beat him in any professional match, minor or major.

    Next up is a section without any really big names, so it's Michael Holt who finds himself as the favourite to come through. He has already been to the quarter-finals of the German Masters on two occasions in the past, so he certainly has what it takes. He has also reached two major quarter-finals in China this season, as well as the final of the short-format Riga Open in the summer. He should probably get past Stuart Carrington here, as he did in the Northern Ireland Open when he beat him 4-3, but then things get a little trickier for him. Dominic Dale played three strong tournaments in a row just before new year, adding a couple of nice results to his early-season highlight, which was a run to the semi-finals of the short-format Paul Hunter Classic. He beat Holt in the last32 there, then went on to beat Yan Bingtao as well in the last16. It's been a very impressive debut season for Yan, with a couple of runs to the last16 of events, and he has shown a remarkably mature and consistent game for someone that young. We think of Zhao Xintong as a great prospect for the future, and it's amazing when you consider that Yan is even younger, three years younger in fact, and arguably getting better results at the moment. And if Zhao beating Higgins in qualifying was impressive, Yan beating Shaun Murphy was equally so.

    Quarter 4:

    Neil Robertson v. Ben Woollaston
    Barry Hawkins v. Michael White
    Mark Williams v. Anthony Hamilton
    Mark Selby v. Thepchaiya Un-Nooh

    The bottom quarter looks to be the strongest here, as all of its top seeds have survived the qualifiers. Neil Robertson is still under pressure to get some results, having failed to win a major title since the 2015 UK Championship. He won in Riga this season though, then added a couple of semi-finals as well, so his form isn't a million miles away. He has dropped towards the bottom of the top8 now, and is in danger of dropping out completely if his title drought doesn't come to an end soon. The semi-finals is the furthest he has ever got in Berlin, can he improve on that this year? Ben Woollaston is probably a favourable opponent for him at this point in time, as he has not been to the business end of any event this season, minor or major, but the other two players in this section present a somewhat higher obstacle. Barry Hawkins in particular has been fairly consistent in recent months, although that defeat to Perry in the Masters semi-final is bound to affect his confidence, 5-2 up and past snookers required, but he still somehow failed to win. He then went on to lose in the qualifiers for the China Open, so the signs ahead of this week are not that great for him. His best result in Berlin is the same as Robertson's, a semi-final. It was the same year in fact, and I reckon they were both favourites in their semi-final match as well, but it wasn't to be. Looking at their head-to-head, the match that stands out is of course the quarter-final in the 2015 World Championship, a terrific match with eight centuries between them, Hawkins winning 13-12 in the end. But of course Hawkins has to get past Michael White here first. It is only White's second appearance at the Tempodrom, and while I think it's fair to say he is not among the favourites here, with so many big names going out the door has opened slightly for the likes of White. His particular quarter is still tough though, and he did lose to Hawkins when they played in Belfast. He has reached a couple of quarter-finals this season, but he is still waiting for his first major ranking semi-final.

    Mark Selby is probably the best player in the short history of the German Masters, with a title and another final. He has also been the best player in the world this season. Of the four biggest ranking events that have been played so far, Selby has won two and reached another final, so it's always difficult to look beyond him once we get to matches of at least medium length. Can he keep this consistency going though? If he were to meet Mark Williams in the last16 here, it would be a repeat of the 2011 final which was a terrific display of tactical snooker, Williams prevailing 9-7 in the end. They also played a very close match in the Masters this season, Selby winning 6-5 after a kick cost Williams his scoring chance in the decider. In any case, it's nice to see Williams playing well again. He was alright in the events just before new year, and he has always been a great traveller, so he could be a big danger this week. Also here is Anthony Hamilton, in surprisingly good form this season. The home nations series has been particularly good for him, with a semi-final, a quarter-final and a last16 appearance in the three events so far. We have to go back a few years to find his last quarter-final outside of short-format tournaments though. Still, it was a good win over Anthony McGill in the qualifiers, and I would not be surprised to see another good performance from him this week. Thepchaiya Un-Nooh is always a danger as well. He had a strong start to the season, with a run to the semi-finals of the World Open, beating Selby on the way, but unfortunately he has done absolutely nothing of note since, and he won't be going to Beijing either.

    Possible QF line-up:

    Ricky Walden v. Ryan Day
    Ronnie O'Sullivan v. Stephen Maguire
    Stuart Bingham v. Michael Holt
    Neil Robertson v. Mark Selby


    There we are... It may not be my favourite major tournament of the season, but it should still be good fun and I am very much looking forward to it.

  • #2
    Just to add to the above, Ding Junhui is of course missing as well. Yet another tournament he has decided to skip, I wonder what his reasons are.

    Comment


    • #3
      Great post to start the thread !!

      Comment


      • #4
        from the World Snooker Sessions page, it looks like there could be two TV tables!
        holding my breath!
        Up the TSF!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Odrl View Post
          Just to add to the above, Ding Junhui is of course missing as well. Yet another tournament he has decided to skip, I wonder what his reasons are.
          https://translate.google.com/transla...tml&edit-text=

          Comment


          • #6
            Sad news...
            Come on Jimmy!!!!

            Comment


            • #7
              Very sad news. Just saw a tweet from Ronnie wishing well to Ding in this sad time so knew something was up in his family.
              Ton Praram III Series 1 | 58" 18.4oz 9.4mm | ash shaft + 4 splices of Brazilian Rosewood | Grand Cue medium tips

              Comment


              • #8
                No age at all . R.I.P
                Neil

                Comment


                • #9
                  I guess that explains his absence from many tournaments recently, very sad news indeed. All the best to him in this difficult time.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DeanH View Post
                    from the World Snooker Sessions page, it looks like there could be two TV tables!
                    holding my breath!
                    Well well, looks like I owe them an apology.

                    I will make use of this immediately and watch Carter-Maguire instead of the less interesting main match.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      hi, anyone know of any links to jimmys match v hull? cant find it
                      Blown away

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jw147 View Post
                        hi, anyone know of any links to jimmys match v hull? cant find it
                        According to World Snooker it isn´t televised.
                        ....its not called potting its called snooker. Quote: WildJONESEYE
                        "Its called snooker not potting" Quote: Rory McLeod

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          What is it about this tournament the reds always seem to look a bit darker ? I thought the same thing when this tournament came back in 2011.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Rane View Post
                            According to World Snooker it isn´t televised.
                            ok i thought eurosport player, but cant find it anywhere
                            Blown away

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jw147 View Post
                              ok i thought eurosport player, but cant find it anywhere
                              There is coverage on the Eurosport Player now.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X