Defending champion Zhao Xintong will be in Berlin for the final stages of the 2023 BetVictor German Masters, after defeating Pakistan’s Muhammad Asif 5-1 in the last round of qualifying.
China’s Zhao emphatically won the title earlier this year, beating compatriot and close friend Yan Bingtao 9-0 in the final to get his hands on the Brandon Parker Trophy.
Zhao made breaks of 71, 108, 102 and 58 on his way to this afternoon’s victory over Asif. The 2021 UK Champion needed just 69 minutes to wrap up the win, averaging a rapid 15.4 seconds a shot.
Anthony McGill stormed to a spot in the final stages with a 5-0 demolition of Allan Taylor. Former Crucible semi-finalist McGill dropped just a single frame during the qualifying process, having recorded a 5-1 defeat of Jamie O’Neill yesterday. This afternoon’s tie saw two-time ranking event winner McGill compose breaks of 73, 58, 96 and 61 en route to victory.
Tom Ford earned a trip to Berlin with a 5-1 defeat of 1997 World Champion Ken Doherty. Ford continues his fine form, which saw him make the semi-finals of last week’s UK Championship.
Sam Craigie also carried his momentum from York, where he made the UK Championship quarter-finals. Craigie beat Jamie Clarke 5-2 to make the final stages.
Former European Masters winner Jimmy Robertson progressed with a 5-2 win over Jak Jones, while Tian Pengfei beat Michael White 5-2 to qualify.
The evening saw one of the shocks of the season so far, with tour rookie Peng Yisong defeating four-time World Champion Mark Selby 5-4. A steely break of 72 in the decider saw Peng move one match from the final stages. He faces Ian Burns up next.
In the morning session, some of snooker’s big names booked places in the final round of qualifying. Newly crowned UK Champion Mark Allen beat Peter Lines 5-2, Neil Robertson defeated Bai Langning 5-2 and Yan Bingtao scored a 5-2 victory against Rod Lawler.
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