The German Masters has reached the semi-final stage where all of the attention will now be on one table inside the wonderful Tempodrom as the tournament ramps up a notch for what are two of the better days of the season.
We have a household name who is used to winning tournaments in each semi-final and they will go up against players for whom this could be a breakthrough weekend in their career should they go on and claim their first major title.
Si Jiahui vs Kyren Wilson
The opening semi-final of the tournament sees the former champion Kyren Wilson taking on the man who lit up the World Championship with his run to the last four at the Crucible Theatre in the Chinese sensation Si Jiahui.
Both men have had a welcome return to form this week. Wilson had been having a very dire season to date, so much so that he didn’t even make the World Grand Prix last month, which is unheard of for a player of his talent. Si also missed that tournament but he probably isn’t as established in the game yet to be a regular in those events just yet despite his run to the semi-final at Sheffield. I did note that the Chinese player was showing signs of life again coming into the event and I referenced that when taking him outright in the preview for the tournament and to that extent I am already on Si at 33/1 to win this match having taken him at 66/1 to win the event to two places. Wilson has definitely improved his form this week but the only player of any note that he has faced has been Neil Robertson who we know is finding his game. I don’t think Si Jiahui is a forlorn hope here so I’m happy to let my outright bet run.
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Sam Craigie vs Judd Trump
The second semi-final might be the pick of the matches, certainly from a watchable point of view as two extremely talented cueists do battle when Sam Craigie, in the last four of a major tournament for the first time in his career, faces the former champion Judd Trump.
Trump has been the player of the season so far and there is a case to be made that he has dominated this tournament. He has seen off two extremely classy campaigners in the last two rounds in Thepchaiya Un-Nooh and John Higgins and he has dropped four frames in the process so he looks like he is going to be tough to beat but there was a lot to like about the way Craigie thrashed the defending champion Ali Carter in the quarter final. Craigie scored like a dream, attacked the balls and scored his way into this last four clash and if Trump is slightly off it, or Craigie makes a fast start then we could be in for a cracking contest. I think Craigie can keep Trump honest here. I’m surprised that the Asian handicap for the match is 3.25 frames in favour of the lower ranked man. That means if Craigie wins four frames he covers in full, three frames and we win half our bet and two or less and we lose our dough. At this stage of a tournament that feels like a big handicap no matter how well Trump is playing. Craigie has beaten Kyren Wilson and Mark Williams this season and he is 2-2 in career meetings with Trump. I feel this semi-final will be closer than the bookmakers do and I’ll gladly take that Asian line on Craigie.
Back S.Craigie (+3.25 frames – Asian handicap) to beat J.Trump for a 3/10 stake at 1.80 with Bet365