Mark Allen suffered a 5-0 defeat to Zhao Jianbo in the German Masters qualifiers on Wednesday – ending his hot streak in ranking events.
The Northern Irishman has reached the final of the last three ranking events on the calendar, triumphing in both the Northern Ireland Open and at last week’s UK Championship.
Allen extended his streak of victories to 13 with a win over Peter Lines earlier this week but ran out of gas against the amateur Chinese competitor.
Zhao took advantage by compiling breaks of 85, 77, 61, and 58 for a resounding success over the tour’s in-form player.
- CLICK HERE: Mark Allen claims maiden UK Championship title
Elsewhere, Jimmy White continued his improved recent spell, beating Mark Joyce and former German Masters champion Martin Gould to reach the last 32 and the venue stages in Berlin.
White, aged 60 and the oldest player on the circuit, is in the second year of his latest invitational tour card.
But rather than relying on receiving another ITC, the Whirlwind is instead battling to earn a tour card by right and is provisionally well-place to renew his spot through the single-season rankings list.
Meanwhile, defending German Masters champion Zhao Xintong is among the other notable qualifiers who have secured a place at the Tempodrom so far.
Zhao compiled a brace of centuries to comfortably see off the challenge of Muhammad Asif on Tuesday at the Morningside Arena in Leicester.
Neil Robertson, Kyren Wilson, and last year’s runner-up Yan Bingtao have also guaranteed their participation in the first-round proper in February.
Tom Ford and Sam Craigie have carried forward the form that saw them challenge in York last week, with the English pair recording respective victories against Ken Doherty and Jamie Clarke.
Anthony McGill, Tian Pengfei, and Peng Yisong are the others who have managed to survive the preliminaries – the latter aided by a brilliant 5-4 defeat of Mark Selby.
There are another few days of action to come in the German Masters qualifiers, with the likes of Judd Trump, John Higgins, Mark Williams, and Ding Junhui still to enter the fray.
Ronnie O’Sullivan had entered the competition, but the world champion announced on Monday that he had withdrawn from the tournament.
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Featured photo credit: WST
Dave Gilbert conceded the match 3-2 down against Hicks today. I hope Gilbert is alright as a very rare occurrence to concede a match before the end.