Chinese teenagers Yan Bingtao and Zhao Xintong produced fantastic displays to reach the final stages of the F66.com German Masters, upsetting Shaun Murphy and John Higgins in Barnsley.
Yan, who was part of China’s victorious World Cup side in 2015, edged out Murphy in a 5-4 thriller to book his trip to Berlin.
After trailing 1-0, Yan fought back to take the lead with breaks of 68 and 58, before Murphy restored parity with a magnificent contribution of 133. The Magician continued to score heavily with further runs of 80 and 117. However, it was Yan who won the more fragmented frames, including the fifth on the final black to go 3-2 ahead. The 16-year-old showed composure beyond his age in the final frame decider to clinch victory.
Zhao rapidly dispatched four-time World Champion John Higgins 5-1 in under an hour. The talented 19-year-old restricted his illustrious opponent to just 135 points throughout the match and made breaks of 76, 72 and 92 on his way to the win.
Ronnie O’Sullivan was made to work for his place at the Berlin Tempodrom. In the opening round he survived a final frame decider with world number 100 Darryl Hill and came through 5-4.
The Rocket then managed to resist a comeback from 2015 China Open finalist Gary Wilson. O’Sullivan had led 4-0, before Wilson burst back into the game with visits of 78, 73 and 93 to pull within a frame at 4-3. However, the five-time World Champion got over the line in style with a break of 94 to win 5-3.
Jimmy White produced his best result of the season so far to defeat world number eight Joe Perry 5-3. With Perry leading 3-0, the Whirlwind swept up five frames in a row to book a last 32 tie with Finland’s Robin Hull. White composed runs of 94 and 61 on his way to the win.
Reigning Champion Martin Gould ensured he would once again be travelling to Berlin with aspirations of silverware, thanks to a 5-1 defeat of Craig Steadman. His opponent in February will be Welshman Jamie Jones.
World number 16 Kyren Wilson surrendered a 4-0 lead, as John Astley pulled off a tremendous comeback to win 5-4. The Warrior had set an electric pace, restricting his opponent to just eight points prior to the interval and establishing a four frame gap. However, the potter from Gateshead turned the match on it’s head when they returned with five frames on the bounce to claim an unlikely victory.
Stephen Maguire also came from behind to see off Noppon Saengkham. Breaks of 89 in both the first and second frames put the Thai 2-0 in front. The experienced Maguire kept with Saengkham thanks to contributions of 87 and 78 and was the more settled in the decider as he came through 5-4.
Peter Ebdon made it to Berlin by the narrowest of margins against Matthew Selt. With the scores at 4-4, Ebdon won the final frame on the final black to secure his progress. His opponent at the Tempodrom will be Tom Ford.
For full results click here.