John Higgins joined the list of big-name casualties in the qualifying rounds of the BetVictor German Masters as he lost 5-3 to amateur Daniel Wells.
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Neil Robertson is the only member of the world’s top seven to make it to the final stages in Berlin in February, as Mark Selby, Judd Trump, Mark Allen, Mark Williams and now Higgins have all lost in qualifying matches. And the result compounds a poor start to the season for four-time World Champion Higgins, who is yet to make it past the last 32 of any ranking event.
After sharing the first four frames, Welshman Wells dominated the fifth then made a break of 76 in the sixth to lead 4-2. Higgins pulled one back before Wells clinched victory in frame eight with a run of 63.
Shaun Murphy is also absent from the last 32 line up as he was beaten 5-2 by last season’s BetVictor European Masters champion, Fan Zhengyi. Cazoo UK Championship runner-up Ding Junhui came from 4-1 down to 4-4 against Matthew Stevens with breaks of 59, 72 and 119, only for Stevens to get the better of a scrappy 39-minute decider.
Germany’s top player Lukas Kleckers missed out on his home event as he lost 5-2 to Robert Milkins. Tour rookie Julien LeClercq couldn’t build on yesterday’s victory over Williams as he went down 5-1 to Louis Heathcote, who top scored with 101. Luca Brecel warmed up for the defence of his BetVictor Scottish Open title as he booked his place at the Tempodrom with a 5-2 success against Barry Pinches.