Masters Race Takes Shape

Tuesday night at the Barbican Centre and it has been a day which has seen the battle for the remaining places at the Masters become clearer, with victories for Robert Milkins and Ricky Walden.

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Even just a couple of days ago the race for the final places at the Masters remained wide open, but today the situation became a battle between three players for two spots, as Robert Milkins and Ricky Walden secured their places at the Alexandra Palace.

Trailing Liu Chuang 5-3 in his previous round match, Milkins looked as though he would have to rely on the results of other players in order to secure a début appearance at snooker’s biggest invitation event in 2014.

Following a terrific comeback in that match however, Milkins today defeated fellow contender Matthew Stevens 6-2 to move up above Mark Davis into 13th place and guarantee that his participation in London.

This was because of Ricky Walden’s deciding frame victory against Mark Williams shortly afterwards, which also confirmed Ricky’s return to the Masters, as well as ensuring that there will be no Welsh players at the event this year.

So what can now change?

Effectively, the battle is now between Mark Davis, Joe Perry and Graeme Dott, with 14th placed Davis already out of the tournament following his defeat to Scott Donaldson.

As it stands, Davis and Perry will qualify, with Davis safe, unless Graeme Dott is able to reach the final and Joe Perry the semi-finals this week in York.

Alternatively, Dott would also overtake Perry for the final place, if he is able to go one round further in the event than Joe, both with tough last 16 matches ahead against Mark Selby and Neil Robertson respectively.

The battle continues…