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German Masters Snooker: Round One Review

Jack Lisowski can this week prove the truth of the old sporting adage, “You can only beat what’s in front of you.”

Lisowski is through to the last 16 of snooker’s German Masters tournament and already looks a decent bet to lift the trophy following his 5-0 opening round win over Zhang Anda.

Englishman Lisowski is ranked No.12 in the world, but with so many of the top stars missing from the event in Berlin, his early progress is already worth noting.

Welsh wizard Mark Williams, Judd Trump, Mark Allen, Mark Selby, John Higgins, Shaun Murphy, Ding Junhui and Barry Hawkins all lost in the qualifiers, of which there were two rounds.

With four other players suspended because of the match-fixing scandal, Lisowski is through to Thursday night’s second round and could meet veteran Jimmy White.

Also earning safe passage to the last 16 are China’s Tian Pengfel, who beat Anthony McGill, 5-1, and Elliot Slessor of England who overcame Joe O’Connor, 5-2.

The 60-year-old “Whirlwind” White must first overcome 21-year-old Peng Yisong of China in their first round match.

With Ronnie O’Sullivan another absentee from the event, Lisowski will be one of the favourites along with Neil Robertson, Kyren Wilson, Ali Carter, Luca Brecel and Ricky Walden.

Hoping to stop Brecel will be Williams’ fellow Welshman, Matthew Stevens, with their match due to begin on Thursday morning.

Stevens may not be the force of old, but the 45-year-old former Masters champion has beaten Brecel in two of their last three meetings.

The sentimental money may go on White if he can get past Yisong and then Lisowski.

White – now a TV pundit with Eurosport – last won on the main professional circuit back in 2004, but retains his confidence as well as his pulling power.

Going into the Berlin tournament, he said: “I’m going to have to stay doing exactly what I’m doing and not get too wrapped up in it when its happening. I have to stay in the moment.

“I have to keep improving mentally. All parts of my game. The practice, living properly and enjoying competing. When your confidence goes, so many things go through your mind, but I know my game is in shape.

“I’ve had to go full circle. If I don’t win another tournament, it won’t be for not trying.”

The last 16 round of the German Masters starts on Thursday morning, with the quarter-finals on Friday, the semi-finals on Saturday, and final on Sunday.

All matches up the quarter-finals are the best of nine, with the semi-finals decided by the best of 11 and the final by the best of 19.

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