With all four quarter-final matches out in the arena, there was a unique atmosphere at the Tempodrom.
Judd Trump came through an enthralling meeting with Ding Junhui 5-3 to book his place in the last four of the D88 German Masters in Berlin.
This evening’s heavyweight clash saw world number three Trump take on world number four Ding in what was a repeat of the 2014 German Masters final, when Ding took home the title.
Ding came into the match with a 6-4 edge over his counterpart in the head to head record and China’s number one had also been victorious in their previous two meetings at the 2016 International Championship and 2016 World Championship.
Trump is looking to make amends this week for a gut-wrenching semi-final defeat at January’s Masters at Alexandra Palace, where he surrendered a 5-2 lead against Kyren Wilson to lose 6-5. After racing out to an early advantage tonight the Ace in the Pack faced another fightback, but this time held his nerve to progress.
The showdown was very much a tale of two halves, with a pulsating showing of break building prior to the mid-session, before the pressure descended on German snooker’s most prestigious venue the Tempodrom.
Trump charged out of the blocks in the opener with a tournament high run of 140. He was on course to go two ahead before suffering a kick in the second frame, which allowed Ding to steal. It was then the Englishman’s turn to snatch frames from his opponent, making clearances of 64 and 40 to go 3-1 in front at the mid-session.
When they returned Trump had looked set to clinch victory after moving 4-1 ahead and leading 57-0 in the fifth frame. However, he went in off while going into the pack and the match swung. Ding cleared to take the frame on the black and reduce his arrears to 4-2.
That was followed by an epic 53 minute seventh frame, which saw both players spurn opportunities before Ding pulled within one. However, Trump managed to get over the line in another nerve shredder by doubling the final pink to progress 5-3.
“I was ahead and cruising,” said the eight-time ranking event winner. “I went in off after going into the pack in the fifth frame and then I thought it was going to be the same as the Masters. The balls went scrappy, I lost the next two frames and I was under it. I was so pleased to get through in the end.”
2006 World Champion Graeme Dott recorded a remarkable fightback to come from 4-0 down to defeat Xiao Guodong 5-4 and book his second Tempodrom semi-final appearance in the space of three years.
With the score at 4-1, Xiao led the fifth frame 62-30. However, the typically tenacious Scot managed to dig deep to snatch the frame on the black. He then went on to claim the following three frames to book his place in the last four.
Dott will now face world number five Shaun Murphy who also required a deciding frame to progress, as he defeated Riga Masters champion Ryan Day 5-4.
There was never more than a frame between the pair this evening. With the scores locked at 4-4 Magician extracted 36 points worth of fouls from his opponent in an epic decider which he took 80-60 to progress.
Mark Williams overcame the challenge of Jimmy Robertson with a 5-3 win to secure a semi-final clash with Trump.
2011 German Masters winner Williams was competing in his seventh ranking quarter-final of the season. In stark contrast to his opponent, who was making the first ranking event quarter-final appearance of his career.
The Welshman was never behind this evening and compiled runs of 89 and 57 on his way to the win.