Neil Robertson’s golden streak of form was brought to an end in the first round of the 918.com German Masters qualifiers as he suffered a shock 5-1 defeat against amateur Ashley Hugill.
Robertson has won the Champion of Champions and UK Championship within the past five weeks, but managed just one break over 40 against York’s 21-year-old Hugill, who needs one more win to reach the final stages in Berlin.
World number three Robertson made a 103 in the second frame but otherwise was outplayed, his opponent knocking in runs of 56 and 85. Hugill had only previously won one match in a ranking event, against Zhang Yong at the Australian Goldfields Open qualifiers earlier this season. He now meets another promising amateur, Zhao Xintong, who beat Cao Yupeng 5-3 in a Chinese derby with top breaks of 107 and 130.
“It’s unbelievable. My brain is in meltdown,” said Hugill. “I can’t even think straight. I am really thrilled. Obviously, top class players – even when they aren’t playing well – are still favourites to beat me. He was playing badly and I started playing okay.
“I was just trying to stay as calm as possible. I came here thinking I could win. I go into every much thinking that but, most of the time, it doesn’t pan out like that. This is a really good opportunity to go to Germany which, around the tour, many players think is one of the best venues in snooker.”
Shaun Murphy beat Michael Wasley 5-3 while world number 12 Ricky Walden lost 5-3 to Alfie Burden.
Mark Williams, who won the inaugural German Masters in 2011, beat Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon 5-1 with a top break of 76.