German Masters Qualifiers 2011: Day One News

Just two days after Sunday’s dramatic UK Championship final, the players are back in action at the Academy in Sheffield as they battle not only for a place at the inaugural German Open, but also key ranking positions ahead of the final rankings cut-off prior to the World Championship…

Results so far:

Anthony Hamilton 5-4 Kurt Maflin
Adam Wicheard 5-2 Fergal O’Brien
Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon 5-0 Patrick Wallace
Alfie Burden 5-2 Zhang Anda
Mike Dunn w/o BYE
Jack Lisowski 5-2 James McBain
Jamie Burnett 5-4 James Wattana
Liu Song 5-3 Bjorn Haneveer
Kyren Wilson 5-4 Barry Pinches
Nigel Bond 5-0 Reanne Evans
Jimmy White 5-2 Liam Highfield
Jimmy Robertson 5-2 Igor Figueiredo
Tony Drago 5-4 Kuldesh Johal
Ian McCulloch 5-1 Issara Kachaiwong
Rod Lawler 2-5 Simon Bedford

Having lost in Telford to Stephen Hendry in such agonising circumstances last week, Jimmy White put in a strong performance this afternoon against youngster Liam Highfield to qualify for the second round of the 2011 German Masters. This was especially so as trailing 2-0 and having already lost to Liam in qualifying for the Shanghai Masters this season, the signs were not looking so good.

Another veteran player through, although in somewhat more comfortable style, was Nigel Bond, a 5-0 winner over the struggling Reanne Evans who will now enter 2011 still without a professional win to her name. For Nigel though it is an important win, not least because he does still have 5,200 points to come off his ranking before the end of this season, significantly more than the players around him.

A player with ranking points coming off now however, due to his Welsh Open semi-final a couple of seasons ago is Anthony Hamilton, but he has today given his hopes of remaining inside the top 48 for the World Championship a boost with a narrow 5-4 victory over Norway’s Kurt Maflin this morning. He will now face promising youngster Adam Wicheard who was a shock 5-2 winner against the usually solid Fergal O’Brien, a result that is a real feather in Adam’s cap.

The highest quality match of the day meanwhile was that between Jamie Burnett and James Wattana as the pair recorded four century breaks between them! James’ best effort was a 126 but runs of 130, 130 and 113 from the Scot were enough to take Burnett through.

Elsewhere, UK qualifier Patrick Wallace was brought back down to earth with a bump by Thai prodigy Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon, suffering a 5-0 whitewash while Liu Song marked his return to the tour with a 5-3 win against Belgian Bjorn Haneveer. In the final match of the afternoon to finish, the continually impressive Kyren Wilson won a nervy clash with Barry Pinches to progress.

Of the evening matches, Ian McCulloch and Andy Hicks both won easily but Malta’s Tony Drago had to fight hard to secure a 5-4 victory against Kuldesh Johal in the third match of the session to finish. The last time I checked the livescores Tony was well behind in the frame but somehow came back to win it with just pink and black remaining to secure a 5-4 win. Next up for him will be Ian McCulloch, some contrast in styles!