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Defending Champion Out Amid Shocks

The first day of the 2014 German Masters was all about who didn’t go through, rather than who was able to progress to the last 32 at the Tempodrom in Berlin.

The majority of the last 64 encounters took place on Wednesday and there was a quartet of major upsets for the top players.

Straight off the bat was reigning champion Ali Carter, who surrendered a 4-2 advantage over Dechawat Poomjaeng to fall in a decider 5-4.

Neither player performed well for the first six frames, with both’s frustrations seemingly nearing melting point.

Carter was lucky to have a two frame cushion by then but at that stage would have expected to complete the victory and advance to the next round.

However, charismatic Poomjaeng, who created a storm at the Crucible last season with on and off-table antics, began to strike the cueball much better.

A superb clearance on the colours that included a doubled pink and a gutsy black along the top cushion brought him back to within one and he dominated the final two frames with breaks of 76 and 62 to complete a spirited comeback.

Joining Carter on an early flight home is the player the Englishman beat to lift the trophy this time last year, Marco Fu.

Fu has had an excellent season, winning the Australian Open and reaching the final of the International Championship, but was never at the races as veteran 42 year-old Paul Davison earned the result of his career with a 5-2 victory over the Hong Kong native.

Another one of the favourites this week, Mark Allen, endured another surprise exit and was defeated 5-3 by Anthony McGill.

Allen is so inconsistent that it is impossible to tell when the Northern Irishman will actually turn up for a tournament in good form.

He’ll be hoping he can turn things around in time for his double defence of the World Open in March but for McGill it continues what has been an encouraging season so far for the Scot – and he finished the match off confidently with a century break.

Finally, Champion of Champions runner-up Stuart Bingham lost the last three frames to go down 5-3 to fellow Englishman Peter Lines.

Despite this, the top three ranked players in the world all continued their runs with 5-1 triumphs.

Neil Robertson compiled his 78th century of the season in his win over Liu Chuang, while Mark Selby and Ding Junhui also raced to success over Jimmy Robertson and Mike Dunn respectively.

Elsewhere, Ireland’s David Morris couldn’t this time add to what has already been a superb season for the 25 year-old, with the Kilkenny cueist losing to Mark Williams 5-1.

Williams’ fellow school of 1992 graduate John Higgins also recorded a relatively simple win, a 5-2 scoreline over Gerard Greene, while the Scot’s countryman Graeme Dott dispatched of Ben Woollaston 5-1.

There was a morale-boosting victory for youngster Jack Lisowski, who has otherwise failed to impress this year, as he whitewashed Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 5-0.

Lisowski’s reward is a meeting with stalwart Alan McManus, who overcame former world champion Peter Ebdon 5-2.

Meanwhile, legends Steve Davis and Jimmy White’s struggles to remain on the tour continue after they were felled by Dominic Dale and Xiao Guodong respectively.

The full draw can be viewed by clicking here



Creator of SnookerHQ and a journalism graduate, David has been actively reporting on snooker since 2011. He has been published in national publications and has appeared on BBC World News and on talkSPORT radio as an analyst.