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Vafaei Downs The Rocket

Iranian number one Hossein Vafaei scored a superb 5-0 defeat of 37-time ranking event winner Ronnie O’Sullivan at BetVictor German Masters qualifying in Cannock.

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It’s the first time that O’Sullivan has been whitewashed in a full knockout event since suffering a 5-0 defeat to John Higgins at the 2017 Scottish Open.

Vafaei’s victory is a stark reversal in his fortunes in this tournament, having exited in the opening round of qualifying in all five of his previous German Masters appearances. The three-time ranking event semi-finalist is now one match away from a maiden trip to Berlin’s Tempodrom. He now faces Andrew Higginson tomorrow.

Vafaei was in top form this evening against an out of sorts O’Sullivan. He fired in breaks of 52, 50, 81 and 141 to storm into a 4-0 lead at the mid-session. When they returned, O’Sullivan elected to blast the pack off the break and potted a red. He made 24 from it, before missing and allowing Vafaei an opportunity to close out the match. Vafaei did exactly that with a contribution of 64.

World Champion Mark Selby secured his place in Berlin with a 5-1 second round win over Ashley Carty. The Jester from Leicester won the German Masters in 2015 and he kept his hopes of a second title alive with a comfortable victory today. Selby composed breaks of 57, 112 and 66 en route to the win.

Former English Open winner Liang Wenbo defeated 12-time women’s World Champion Reanne Evans 5-1 to progress to round two. David Gilbert edged past David Grace 5-4 to make the second round.

Ken Doherty earned a trip to the final stages with a 5-3 win over Matthew Stevens, while Barry Pinches booked his Berlin spot with a 5-1 defeat of John Astley.

The qualifying rounds conclude on Tuesday.