German Masters 2011 - Day 1

06:16:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Nigel Bond makes a perfect start
I don’t want to exaggerate and say that this competition started on the wrong foot, because the situation at hand is not that dramatic, but it sure wasn’t a very pleasant first day for a revived tournament. Due to some health problems (medical certificate included, as I’ve heard), Ronnie O`Sullivan has pulled out of the German Masters, leaving many fans with a tear in their eyes and like that wasn’t enough it seems that Neil Robertson has lost his passport and right now his participation on the tournament is questionable, as his first match it’s scheduled to take place today, in the evening session.

Barry Hearn, chairman of World Snooker and constant promoter of snooker, has given an interview to Clive Everton for the Guardian, saying that Ronnie’s withdrawal is very disappointing and Robertson situation is not a very pleasing one. I remember you that when the Premier League reached Llandudno last year, Robertson took the wrong train and if it wasn’t for the fact that he was playing in the second match of the evening and that the first one took a bit more than expected, he would have missed the match.

Hearn said about Ronnie that: "When I took over (last June) he was my flag-bearer but now he's dropped the flag. I don't care if Ronnie doesn't play but what he can't do is enter and pull out at the last minute, without very good reason. It's his face on all the posters in Germany; it's a very important tournament for us as we try to develop the European market and an awful lot of people are going to be disappointed he's not there. This can't go on. Ronnie's very likeable when he wants to be but he should start considering his future in the game and his responsibilities to it." 

Joe Swail performs the first whitewash
But regardless of these incidents snooker had continued its road and so the first day of the German Masters followed its pre-arranged schedule.

Nigel Bond seems to be in quite good form, although he admits he didn’t practice after the Shoot-Out victory from Sunday as he got home the next day and the second one he arrived in Germany. He faced Stefan Kasper, who took over the first frame but the Bond of snooker got back on his feet as he won the next four frames, being now just one step away from victory. Stefan tried to make a comeback but he only succeeded in pulling abck just one frame as the next one was won by Nigel. The Shoot-Out champion closed the deal at 5-2 and even if he needs to re-accommodate with a ranking event format, his confidence is pretty high due to the recent events so we might see more of him, God bless :-)

The Thai Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon, or as I like to call him " Double T", defeated Tomasz Skalski 5-3 and Anthony Hamilton hammered Pavel Leyk 5-1. As for the "battle of youth", Jack Lisowski managed to book himself a place into the next round after winning 5-2 over Belgium prodigy Luca Brecel. The match started really tight as the boys shared frames until the score was 2-2, but from that moment on, Jack cashed one frame after another to claim victory.
The single whitewash of the day was performed by Joe Swail in the match played against Hans Blanckaert 5-0 and I must mention his top break of 112, a break that could have been a maximum if that last red would have co-operate more and got into the pocket.

The second day of the German Masters starts early in the morning, as it follows:

9:00 - 12:00 (UK time) - British EuroSport
Ding Junhui v. Matthew Stevens
Stephen Hendry v. Judd Trump
Liu Song v. Daniel Wells
Anthony McGill v. Mario Wehrmann
Robert Milkins v. Lasse Munstermann

14:00 - 17:00 (UK time) - British EuroSport
Ronnie O'Sullivan v. Dominic Dale (Dominic got a bye to the next round)
Mark Selby v. Nigel Bond
Graeme Dott v. Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon
Mark Allen v. Joe Swail
Peter Ebdon v. Andrew Higginson

19:00 - 22:00 (UK time) - British EuroSport
Neil Robertson v. Anthony Hamilton
Shaun Murphy v. Ryan Day
Ricky Walden v. Jack Lisowski
Ali Carter v. Stephen Lee
Jamie Cope v. Joe Perry

Hopping that Neil will get to Berlin somehow, I wish you shall enjoy snooker, for this day is covered by EuroSport (as those that follow). See you tomorrow for some comments. :-)