Duelbits Players Championship 2023 | Wolverhampton

Robertson End’s Sheriff’s Reign

Jimmy Robertson saw off defending champion Anthony Hamilton 5-1 on the opening afternoon of the D88 German Masters in Berlin.

The Tempodrom crowd witnessed joyous scenes in 2017, as Hamilton defeated Ali Carter to claim an emotional maiden ranking title after 26 seasons as a professional. However, the Sheriff of Pottingham couldn’t reproduce that sort of form this afternoon.

Robertson, who has reached the Crucible on three occasions, is yet to make it beyond the last 16 stage of a ranking event. However, he’ll have the opportunity to reach his first quarter-final this week, when he faces either Gary Wilson or 2016 German Masters winner Martin Gould in the last 16.

This afternoon’s clash was mainly characterised by safety exchanges, but it was Robertson who was the more proficient in crafting out frame winning opportunities. He compiled runs of 73 and 50 on his way to the comfortable 5-1 victory.

Robertson said: “I haven’t been performing the way I can at the TV stages in recent years, but this season I’m feeling a lot better. I’ve been working with Martin Perry, who is a confidence coach.  That has helped me a lot because it is a different ball game when you are out there on the tv stage against the top players.”

World number four Ding Junhui negotiated a strong challenge from Cypriot Michael Georgiou to come through a 5-3 winner.

Since claiming his 13th ranking title earlier this season at the World Open, Ding has suffered a dip in form. China’s top star has dropped out in the second round or earlier at four of the six events he’s entered since his win in Yushan.

The 30-year-old put together contributions of 131, 71, 56 and 55 on his way to this afternoon’s victory. He’ll face either Jack Lisowski or Ricky Walden in the last 16.

Joe Perry recorded a narrow 5-4 defeat of world number 48 Yu Delu.

There was never more than a frame between the pair this afternoon, but it was the 2015 Players Champion Perry who compiled a run of 59 in the decider to help in progress to the last 16.

Judd Trump came out on top of a high quality encounter with former Welsh Open finalist Ben Woollaston 5-3.

The result could prove to be detrimental to Woollaston’s chances of clinching a place in the upcoming World Grand Prix. The Leicester potter lies 32nd in the final qualifying spot in the race to the Guild Hall. He’s currently just ahead of Liang Wenbo and Tom Ford who face each other this week.

The Ace in the Pack came into this event off the back of two disappointing defeats. He surrendered a 5-2 lead in his Masters semi-final clash with Kyren Wilson to lose 6-5 and missed out on a place at the China Open with a surprise 6-5 loss against world number 85 Jak Jones in qualifying.

However, this was a blistering display from Trump to secure his last 16 spot. The 2011 UK Champion fired in breaks of 109, 68, 94, 103 and 78 on his way to victory.

Trump said: “You aren’t going to get  many games in the whole tournament that are a higher standard than that. Ben was unlucky, I played well today and he also played well. If he was against someone who lowered their standard a little bit he would have probably won.”