The quarter-finals of the German Masters take place on Friday evening at the Tempodrom Arena in Berlin.
Regarded as one of the best sessions of snooker of the entire year, there is usually an electric atmosphere in the German capital with all four matches being played at the same time.
Not only will the players be battling it out for a berth in the semi-finals of this year’s competition, but for some of them there is the added pressure of trying to safeguard their spots in next month’s lucrative Players Championship as well.
German Masters Quarter-Finals Draw
All matches start at 7pm (GMT)
Judd Trump vs Zhao Xintong
An intriguing contest between the reigning champion and the recent UK Championship winner will certainly merit significant attention from the majority of supporters inside the famous venue.
Judd Trump received a bye in his opening round following the withdrawal of Gao Yang but subsequently thrashed Zhou Yuelong 5-0 to continue his unbeaten German Masters streak.
Zhao Xintong has been similarly, if not more, impressive after backing up his 5-3 triumph against Mark Williams with a 5-1 thumping of Tom Ford in the second round.
The 24 year-old will be keen to outline that his exploits in York were no fluke, and there perhaps wouldn’t be a better way to prove such than by ousting the world number two here.
Trump will be fancied to progress of course, and the Englishman is in fact a 7/4 favourite in the latest outright snooker odds to make it a hat-trick of German Masters titles this weekend.
Kyren Wilson vs Ricky Walden
Ricky Walden reached the quarter-finals of the German Masters for the first time in his career courtesy of a 5-2 defeat of Belgium’s Luca Brecel.
Walden will face 2019 champion Kyren Wilson next after the latter scrambled his way past Craig Steadman in a late thriller that ended 5-4.
The English duo’s head-to-head reads three wins apiece, but several of those encounters took place under short or variant formats.
They have crossed paths in the World and UK Championships, however, with Walden prevailing on both of those occasions in 2014 and 2017 respectively.
Both players understand what it takes to go all the way in a ranking event, so they will each become a more dangerous threat the further they advance in the tournament.
Fan Zhengyi vs Mark Allen
Mark Allen has never been the biggest fan of the German Masters but perhaps that outlook will change now that he’s featuring in the latter stages of the competition for the first time in his career.
The Northern Ireland Open champion beat close friend Shaun Murphy 5-3 to reach the last eight, where he’ll face China’s Fan Zhengyi.
The latter scored heavily to overcome Andrew Higginson and reach this stage of a ranking event for the first time but will be a huge underdog against the Pistol on Friday evening.
Allen and Fan have never encountered each other before but it’s hard to see past the experience of the Antrim man when it comes to a place in the semi-finals on this occasion.
Ryan Day vs Yan Bingtao
Yan Bingtao produced an excellent clearance to deny Mark Selby in the last 16, a result that means the world champion will not feature in the Players Championship in February.
Yan fought back from 4-2 behind to deny the world number one in dramatic circumstances, setting up a German Masters quarter-finals encounter with Ryan Day.
Day enjoyed a much easier time of it in his 5-1 beating of Sam Craigie in which the Welshman compiled a ton and three additional breaks above 50.
Neither Yan nor Day has threatened for silverware this season, but the former will feel particularly confident having won all three of his previous ties against his 41 year-old opponent.
Live coverage of the 2022 German Masters will be available in Ireland, Britain, and across Europe via Eurosport. Other options are available by clicking here.
Featured photo credit: WST