A week full of surprise results in Berlin has left the city gripped by an exciting week of German Masters snooker.
Mark Selby heads a long list of top 20 players to return home early
The competition has been blown wide open after a number of early shock results. Kyren Wilson was stunned in qualification by Jack Lisowksi, whilst Anthony McGill, Luca Brecel and Ali Carter all lost to players outside the top 75 during the first stage of the competition.
The second round of qualification then saw Neil Robertson lose to Tom Ford and Mark King knocked out by Thepchaiya Un-Nooh, despite the Thai player turning up late and being docked one frame.
With Ronnie O'Sullivan also withdrawing from the competition, the number of top 20 players involved in the first round proper was dwindling. World champion Mark Selby then saw his terrible season continue as he was defeated by Xiao Guodong, whilst Barry Hawkins lost to Graeme Dott. Mark Allen suffered a Masters hangover as he was defeated by Matthew Selt in a decider and defending champion Anthony Hamilton was thrashed by Jimmy Robertson.
The second round was much more comfortable for the majority of the top 16 seeds, although Liang Wenbo was defeated by compatriot Guodong. Mark Williams, Ding Junhui, Judd Trump, Shaun Murphy and Ryan Day were the only players in that bracket to make it through to the quarter-finals.
Too close to call
A series of tight last eight matches played out as the race for Hamilton's title heated up. Williams squeezed past a spirited Robertson, playing in his first ranking quarter-final, who fell 2-0 behind before drawing level at 3-3. However, the Welsh veteran was able to lean on his experience to edge a 5-3 victory.
The two highest ranked players in the competition went head-to-head in a last eight contest that certainly did not disappoint. Trump raced into a 4-1 lead against Ding, formulating three half-century breaks and a tournament-high 140 in the process. Yet three of the frames had been separated by less than 15 points and Ding proved he was far from out of the contest. The number five seed edged two more tight frames before Trump finally pulled himself over the line to win 5-3 and set up a semi-final meeting with Williams.
The match of the week arguably came between Dott and Guodong. The Chinese youngster appeared to be cruising through after opening up a 4-0 advantage. Dott hit back in frame five before winning the sixth on the final black despite a break of 62 from Guodong. The former World champion then went on to win the last three frames to complete his comeback at 5-4 despite manufacturing just one half-century break.
Dott will face Murphy in the semi-finals after another thrilling final frame decider concluded Friday evening's action. Murphy was edged out by two points in the opening frame by Day before striking back to go 2-1 ahead. Yet, Day responded with two more frames of his own, despite Murphy potting 40 points in each of those. The Englishman won two out of the next three frames, although Day made a 130 as an unpredictable decider was established. The pair had made just two breaks over 50 between them and the tense nature continued as both players saw numerous formulations cut short. Yet it was Murphy who held his nerve to win on the penultimate ball on the table.