There is guaranteed to be an English name lifting the Brandon Parker Trophy this weekend.
Judd Trump is on course to defend his German Masters crown after reaching the semi-finals on Friday at the Marshall Arena.
The world number one defeated Ding Junhui 5-3 in a somewhat cagey affair to set up a last-four contest against Barry Hawkins.
The latter’s 5-1 victory over Jordan Brown ensured a first run to this stage of a ranking event for the “Hawk” in almost two years.
Trump’s respective record couldn’t be much more different, with this run representing the seventh time out of eight ranking events during this campaign in which he has featured in the penultimate round.
The 31 year-old may have missed the Masters earlier in January as a result of a positive COVID-19 test, but it appears as though he has picked up in 2021 where he left off so successfully last year.
Against Hawkins, Trump will undoubtedly be the favourite but will be wary of the threat posed by the former world number four.
The Bristol potter possesses a superior head-to-head record overall but around half of their fixtures have come in the Championship League, and when those short best-of-five frame fixtures are eliminated from the discussion the rivalry is relatively close.
After dropping out of the top 16 in the official world rankings list, Hawkins is back up to 16th on the provisional Race to the Crucible standings – where an automatic spot in the World Championship will be up for grabs later this term.
Meanwhile, the other semi-finals battle in this year’s German Masters will be between Jack Lisowski and Tom Ford.
Lisowski continued his fine form since the start of December with a 5-3 triumph over Stuart Bingham in the last eight, while Ford hammered Joe O’Connor 5-1.
Both Lisowski and Ford are regarded as underachievers in the game, and both will be bidding to land a maiden piece of ranking-event silverware on Sunday.
The former, of course, lost to Trump in the most recently completed ranking tournament – the World Grand Prix just before Christmas which extended his unenviable losing record in finals to four from four appearances.
Ford has once before reached the final of an event of this status, in the title decider of the Paul Hunter Classic four and a half years ago when he lost to Mark Selby.
Despite being the lower-ranked contender, Ford boasts an unbelievable 100% head-to-head record against Lisowski with seven wins from their previous seven encounters.
Whether this will have much of an impact on the outcome remains to be seen, but it surely must be something that is in the back of each player’s minds.
German Masters Semi-Finals
Judd Trump (1) vs Barry Hawkins
Tom Ford vs Jack Lisowski (15)
This year’s German Masters is being played in Milton Keynes, away from its usual home of the Tempodrom in Berlin, as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Live coverage is on Eurosport. Other options are available by clicking here.
Click here to view the full draw (Times in CET)
Featured photo credit: WST