The first round of the German Masters continues inside the Tempodrom in Berlin on Tuesday when places in the last 32 of the tournament are up for grabs across what looks like being three decent sessions of play.
We saw some big name casualties on the opening day of the competition on Monday so the star acts who are taking to the baize on Tuesday will certainly be on their toes to avoid going the same way in this wonderful arena.
Ali Carter and Neil Robertson are the big names on show in the morning session. Carter is the defending champion here and continues his title defence against Peng Yisong while Robertson will go up against his namesake Jimmy Robertson for a place in the second round. The pick of the opening session of the day though is the all-Asian clash between Thepchaiya Un-Nooh and Zhang Anda which looks like a cracking game. Zhou Yuelong is another leading light taking to the baize first thing. He faces his compatriot Tian Pengfei. The other three matches see the World Championship semi-finalist Si Jiahui taking on Mark Joyce while Pang Junxu faces off against the amateur Haydon Pinhey and Yuan Sijun meets Aaron Hill.
There are two more elite players on show in the afternoon session on Tuesday and two players who have twice won this fine event. Judd Trump will grace the main table when he goes up against the former world finalist Matthew Stevens while Mark Williams is the other standout name on show. Williams has a date with He Guoqiang to overcome. There is another top 16 player on show in Robert Milkins. Robbie Williams will be his opponent. Ryan Day is another cueist looking to make progress in this session when he goes up against Oliver Brown while the former Shootout champion Chris Wakelin will take on Andrew Pagett. The other matches see Alexander Ursenbacher facing Zak Surety and Andrew Higginson meeting a Xu Si who took care of Shaun Murphy in their held over qualifying match on Monday.
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We have a bit of a reduced evening session after a couple of players who were due to feature in the evening were forced to withdraw prior to the event beginning. That will leave Mark Allen as the main player on show. He laboured through his held over qualifying round match on Monday and will look to perform much better against Louis Heathcote. Marco Fu demolished Mark Selby in the qualifying round on Monday and his reward for that is a meeting with the amateur Alfie Davies. Joe Perry is another recognisable name on show in the evening. He takes on Xing Zihao while the other two matches see Dave Gilbert facing Jordan Brown and Julien Leclercq meeting Ken Doherty.
It might be different if he is on the main table but Mark Allen looked absolutely terrible on Monday. At one point he was getting so frustrated with himself that he conceded a frame when he could still win and he hardly ever gets into himself like that these days so that shows the frustration he was feeling. It might be that the big stage changes that but I’m not convinced because Allen, with the exception of the maximum at The Masters, where even then his cue ball was all over the place, hasn’t really played well for a while.
Louis Heathcote will look to take advantage of that on Tuesday evening and while he hasn’t had the greatest season, we all know his talent and he recently qualified for the World Open with an emphatic 5-0 win over Oliver Lines where he made a couple of centuries. He was a whisker away from getting through to the Welsh Open, losing to Matthew Stevens in a deciding frame where he made four 60 breaks in losing 4-3. Heathcote has actually been scoring well for a while and has made 50 breaks of 50 or more this season in just 152 frames, with the majority of those coming in the second part of the season so far. I don’t know if Heathcote will have it in him to get over the line here having lost two deciders already this season but based on what we’ve seen of Allen so far in 2024 there is nothing to suggest that Heathcote can’t get to three frames if not the five he desires.
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