Sheffield, We'll Be Back!

Xiao Dumps Selby Out In Berlin

Xiao Guodong outplayed World Champion Mark Selby to secure a 5-3 win and progress to the last 16 of the D88 German Masters in Berlin.

Xiao has already enjoyed a victory over the world number one this season. The 2013 Shanghai Masters finalist defeated Selby 4-1 in their last 32 clash at the English Open in Barnsley.

Selby will leave the German capital disappointed that his bid to claim a second ranking title of the season was ended at the first hurdle this week. After suffering a second round exit at the UK Championship in December and losing out in the opening round at the Masters last month, he will be hoping to buck that trend at the upcoming World Grand Prix later this month.

Xiao looked the stronger player in this afternoon’s opening exchanges and breaks of 88, 52 and 80 helped him to take a 3-1 lead at the mid-session interval.

They traded sizeable contributions when they returned. Selby pulled one back with a break of 60, before Xiao restored his two frame advantage thanks to a run of 79. The Jester from Leicester responded compiling a break of 78 to make it 4-3. However, it was to no avail as Xiao came through a 5-3 victor.

“When I play in any tournament I don’t think about whether or not I am facing a top player. I just have to think to myself to keep enjoying it. Ronnie O’Sullivan has told me before that I need to enjoy snooker more,” said the world number 30. “You can try too hard. When you hit the ball you need to try not to think too much as there is a lot of pressure.”

Shaun Murphy put on an impressive display of break building to see off 1994 Masters champion Alan McManus 5-2.

The Scot took the opening two frames to lead 2-0. However, from there it was Murphy who took command of the tie. The Magician crafted runs of 138, 59 and 104 as he claimed five frames in a row to run out the victor.

Barry Hawkins’ hopes of being in Preston to defend his World Grand Prix title later this month were left hanging by a thread after suffering a 5-3 loss against Graeme Dott.

The top 32 players in this season’s money list will make the event at the Guild Hall and Hawkins, who is currently placed 43rd, will now need to reach the latter stages at next week’s Shoot Out to stand a chance of qualifying.

Liang Wenbo kept alive his hopes of a place in Preston with a 5-1 demolition of Tom Ford. While Ryan Day defeated Thepchaiya Un-Nooh by a 5-1 scoreline.

The evening session saw the last 16 stage get underway and 2014 champion Ding Junhui was first to book his place in the quarter-finals with a 5-2 defeat of Ricky Walden.

He will face a mouth watering clash in the last eight against Judd Trump, who saw off the challenge of 2015 Players champion Joe Perry 5-3. While Mark Williams booked his quarter-final spot with a 5-2 win over Matthew Selt.

Jimmy Robertson will appear in his first ever ranking event quarter-final after defeating Gary Wilson 5-3. His reward will be a clash with the two-time World Champion Williams.