German Masters 2012: Day One Wrap

Day one in Germany and it has so far been a good one for the big names as defending champion Mark Williams was among those through to the last 16 stage today. Click below for a summary of today’s action…

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Today began with an eight-match wildcard round, although that was to be reduced to seven as James Wattana received a walkover following the non-appearance of Mario Wehrmann. Generally it was to be a good round for the professionals as seven made it through, but there was to be disappointment for Mike Dunn who having made a 147 break during the qualifying rounds, fell 5-3 to leading amateur Craig Steadman.

Elsewhere, the last 32 began with victories for old rivals Stephen Maguire and Shaun Murphy this afternoon, Maguire comfortably defeating friend Ryan Day by a 5-1 scoreline, while Murphy won a high-quality match with Shoot Out winner Barry Hawkins from 4-3 down.

Next up for Maguire will be countryman John Higgins, after the reigning world champion severely dented Mark Davis’ chances of moving up into the top 16 at the next seedings revision with a 5-1 victory this evening. A solid win for Higgins against a man in good form during the recent Championship League, he will now be hoping for swift revenge against Maguire following his loss to Stephen at December’s UK Championship.

Also through this evening was defending champion Mark Williams, who aside from a brilliant fourth-frame century break, was solid if not spectacular in defeating old rival Ken Doherty without the loss of a frame. For Ken however it was a disappointing evening as he struggled badly from the off in Berlin, as indeed he had done against Mark during their Australian Goldfields Open semi-final earlier in the season.

Arguably the tie of the round on form however was that between Martin Gould and Ricky Walden, but following an opening frame break of 102, Ricky was never really to look back on his way to an important 5-1 win. With every point crucial as he bids to return to the top 16 in time for the Crucible, he will now be hoping to secure an even greater haul with victory against Shaun Murphy in the next round.

Also securing important top 16 points was Stephen Lee, who won the last two frame of his match against Adrian Gunnell to earn a 5-2 victory. Up to 13th place provisionally, he now awaits the winner of tomorrow’s place between Ding Junhui and Yu Delu.

At the time of writing, Stuart Bingham, currently occupying the final top 16 place on the latest provisional list, has fought his way back from 2-0 and 3-1 down to find himself all-square with 2002 world champion Peter Ebdon in what could prove to be a crucial match for him…