An already exciting German Masters has reached the semi-finals stage with four Englishmen still chasing glory in Berlin.
Friday’s famed quarter-final evening at the Tempodrom, in which all four ties take place at once, didn’t disappoint with plenty of heavy scoring.
That included a magnificent maximum break from Robert Milkins, who becomes only the second player ever to compile a 146 and a 147 in the same event.
Last year’s Gibraltar Open champion is among the final quartet bidding for the £80,000 top prize, so let’s take a look at both matches in the German Masters semi-finals.
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Ali Carter vs Robert Milkins
After making the max in the second frame, Milkins proceeded to beat Chris Wakelin 5-2 and end the Snooker Shoot Out champion’s remarkable 16-match unbeaten run.
Earlier on Friday, the 46 year-old had also dispatched former finalist Luca Brecel and next up for the Milkman is 2013 champion Ali Carter.
Carter also had to negotiate two rounds on the same day – first thrashing Louis Heathcote before adding a second brace of tons in his high-scoring 5-3 defeat of Pang Junxu.
The Captain is on course to make a third appearance in a German Masters final having also finished as the runner-up at the 2017 edition of the tournament.
Milkins and Carter have crossed paths only ten times, a surprisingly small number considering how long they have both been on the main tour.
The latter leads the head-to-head 7-3 and won their last encounter in the qualifiers for this very event just over twelve months ago.
With his overall superior experience at the business end of competitions, Carter should be the favourite but Milkins’ heavy scoring ensures he can’t be ruled out.
Jack Lisowski vs Tom Ford
If there is ever a perfect opportunity for Jack Lisowski to claim his maiden ranking event title, it’s this weekend.
The 31 year-old is widely considered the best player in the game who is yet to land that elusive piece of silverware.
In the German Masters semi-finals, however, he finds himself as the highest ranked contender left in the draw.
When Lisowski reached his previous six ranking finals, he always came up against an all-time great like Neil Robertson, Judd Trump, or Mark Selby.
His opponents will remain tough to beat in Berlin, but he’s unlikely to have the door left widely ajar like this for him again.
Strangely, his last-four opponent is also a player who has somewhat failed to live up to the expectations that his talent always promised.
Tom Ford is similarly hoping to break his ranking event duck and produced a strong display to knock out 2019 champion Kyren Wilson in the quarter-finals.
In the 39 year-old’s favour is an unusually superior head-to-head record against Lisowski, with Ford having won 11 out of their 12 overall clashes.
Lisowski’s sole victory over his countryman came at the semi-final stage of the 2021 German Masters.
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Featured photo credit: WST
That Ford record is dominant enough for it to be a slight psychological advantage for the Leicester cueman.
I honestly haven’t checked but thinking Stephen Hendry is the other to have a 146 and 147 in the same event. He did so in the 1995 UK Championship, compiling a maximum against Gary Wilkinson and having a 146 in the final against Peter Ebdon..
Yes, that’s right. Hendry in the 95 UK.
Fortunately, my earlier comment abouut travelling problems in Berlin doesn’t seem to have impacted the tournament. It was only me who failed to comprehend the ‘replacement bus’ situation! The atmosphere was great, as always for the Tempodrom on the Friday night. All four players have a chance to win the tournament, but I think the German fans would be better rewarded in the future if the structure were reformed. On Wednesday, Rolf Kalb made his opening speech, explaining the lack of most of the top players was due to the timing of the qualifiers, directly after the UK Championship. If I was a German snooker fan, I’m not too sure how I would react to that excuse. But, they got a 147 to cheer!