German Masters - a personal note

06:44:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Tempodrom Arena is ready for snooker
Last Sunday one of the most interesting and exciting snooker tournaments ended, choosing one hell of a champion in the person of the Welshman Mark Williams - yeah, I’m talking about German Masters (like that was hard to guess, considering the title of this article :-P); and now it time to put in writing my first impression regarding this beautiful tournament, as I always do when an event ends.

It’s a well known fact that Germany is a wonderful country, that it had a very thrilling history and that Dieter Bohlen is its "Pop-Titan". :-))) What? No one heard about Dieter Bohlen? I can believe it! :-)))) Kidding! But here’s something that you probably didn’t know about Germany - the fact that its people love snooker!!! And in what way?! The Germans are totally and utterly in love with this sport and they had showed it by coming in such a high number to Tempordorm Arena, the place where the German Masters took place. They came to cheer for their favorites, but most importantly to show their support to this amazing sport called snooker. :-)

It was without doubt one of the most fire cracking snooker events ever and considering the fact that it was staged outside the UK and it was kind of a world premiere just brought more excitement to it. But nor everything started the right way as Ronnie O`Sullivan decided to pull out due to some health issues (and that made Barry Hearn really mad…like dhaaa!), then it came Neil Robertson’s problem regarding his lost passport and him arriving at the venue 45 minutes to spare before the match against Anthony Hamilton and it all culminated with the dreadful news that John Higgins’s father passed away and with him withdrawing from the tournament to go to Scotland.
So it was no bed of roses, but somehow snooker found a way of making it thought some really rough times and shining more than ever at the end. That’s how I saw the German Masters. For all those moments when the fans were angry or sad about the above news, snooker would bring more outstanding moments to ease the audience’s sadness.

A packed audince is all snooker needs
We had some really interesting matches, like the one between Stephen Hendry and Mark Selby, a match where we were pleased to see that the Scot didn’t give up on playing those wonderful shots that made him a seven-time world champion. Although in the end Hendry lost 3-5, we can’t overlook his previous victory against the youngster Judd Trump (5-2) and the fact that he seemed to be quite revived while playing. After the match, the proud of Scotland said that he was very happy about the way the tournament was organised and that the crowd was absolutely brilliant, applauding when the situation inquired it and being very supportive with all the players. He also stated that EuroSport has played a very important role in popularizing snooker all across the world and to be honest with you I couldn’t agree more with the guy. The fact that in present day an important ranking event was held in Germany proves the fact that EuroSport had done its job and "virus" Europe (although its action are not just limited to Europe) with snooker :-))

It wasn’t "The Masters" all over again as the top seeds didn’t lose in the first round, but we witnessed some surprises from players that probably many of you are not familiar with. Time to make a change! ;-)
Joe Swail was the one who amazed the audience with his skills of gifted snooker player as he defeated his fellow-country, the player Mark Allen 5-1 but also Shaun Murphy 5-2, just before he lost 1-5 to Marco Fu in the quarter-finals. Regardless of the fact that his run ended in the quarter-finals, we can’t minimise the fact that he played absolutely beautifully and that he defeated some really heavy names and if you are wondering how’s that possible, I’ll tell you - it’s the PTC/EPTC series of events. Barry Hearn’s idea of bringing more snooker to the players shows its first results as many of the players that took part at these events improved their style of playing the game and are now winning important matches in front of the legends. So if the heavy names think is beneath them to take part in those types of events, then here’s the result ;-) Snooker can put you on the top of the mountain, but it can also put you down in a second.

Eirian Williams and Jan Verhaas always on duty
If there’s something I’m not quite sure I liked about the German Masters, is the way that matches were played. The fact that the arena was "covered" with five snooker tables that were used at the same time, as five matches were on it’s not something that I’m very fond of. No offence, but first of all is very distracting as I was in this position of having to watch more than one table at once, and second of all the fact that only one table was televised made it quite impossible to see what the rest of the "class" was up to. Plus that we all have our preferences regarding what matches to watch and what not to watch. So maybe in the future we could have at least two tables covered by EuroSport. I think that would be great.

As the atmosphere was very hot, the refs were very vigilant, so a big, big thank you and my sincere congratulations go to them. Five refs in the arena, but with a packed audience ... well, that’s not an easy job, not even for those who are experienced. Unfortunately we weren’t able to see Michaela Tabb, because the foxy lady of snooker was ill and to put more fuel to the fire - she was going to be in charge of the final. In the end the top ref Jan Verhaas took her place and the poor guy was constantly "tormented" by Selby and Williams as they re-racked the final four times and Selby put Jan to re-arrange the balls after a foul. That was a funny thing for us the viewers, but a very hard task for the poor Dutchman, but he did it with style, while Williams stole the cue ball :-)))))

M. Williams receives the German Masters trophy
The final was something that we were all expecting and as the crowd exploded in powerful applauses, you could see how delighted they were with the boys` work. It was nice to see Williams win a ranking event and it was nice to see him so emotional because that’s how you were remembered about the fact that the players are simple people just like you and me and that after a tight and hard battle they can be so overwhelmed. :-) It’s always sad when the other player loses and in this case Selby was so close to win the match after that beautiful comeback. Still, not to offend Selby’s fans, but if Leicester’s boy would have beat Williams, I think that the Welshman would have been gutted for a long, long time especially if we take into consideration the UK Championship final. But luckily for him that didn’t happen. As for poor Selby, although he was very disappointed to lose the final, the fact that he reached it brought him more confidence in his game so we looks with hope towards the Welsh Open, as he stated on his personal blog.

So it was the German Masters - a very dramatic, exciting and interesting to watch and "chew" tournament and I keep my fingers crossed for a second edition next year. Berlin was a welcoming host and made snooker feel as this is its home ;-)