2020 Masters (snooker)

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2020 Dafabet Masters
image of snooker table and crowd
Inside the event during the entrances for the final
Tournament information
Dates12–19 January 2020
VenueAlexandra Palace
CeetyLondon
KintraEngland
Organisation(s)WPBSA, World Snooker
FormatNon-ranking event
Tot prize fund£725,000
Winner's share£250,000
Heichest brak David Gilbert (ENG) (144)
Feenal
Champion Stuart Bingham (ENG)
Rinner-up Ali Carter (ENG)
Score10–8
2019

The 2020 Masters (an aw referred tae as the 2020 Dafabet Masters efter the sponsor) wis a professional non-rankin snooker toornament that teuk place atween 12 and 19 Januar 2020 at the Alexandra Palace in London, England. It wis the 46th staging o the Masters toornament, which wis first held in 1975, an the seicont o three Triple Crown events in the 2019–20 season, follaein the 2019 UK Championship and preceding the 2020 Warld Snooker Championship. The event invites the tap 16 players frae the snooker world rankings in a single-elimination tournament. It wis organised bi the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association and wis broadcast bi the BBC and Eurosport in Europe.

The defendin champion wis Judd Trump who haed defeatit Ronnie O'Sullivan 10–4 in the feenal o the previous year's event. In defence o his title, Trump lost tae Shaun Murphy 3–6 in the first roond. O'Sullivan wis eligible tae compete in the event, but chose nae tae participate; his entry wis gien tae Ali Carter, who reached the feenal and played Stuart Bingham. Recovering frae 5–7 behind, Bingham won the feenal 10–8 tae claim his first Masters title. He became the auldest Masters champion at age 43, beatin the previous record set bi Ray Reardon in 1976.

As the winner o the event, Bingham received £250,000 frae a tot prize pool o £725,000. The toornament featurt a tot o 18 century breaks; the heichest brak wis a 144 compiled bi David Gilbert in the quarter-feenals, for which he won £15,000.

Overview[eedit | eedit soorce]

Picture o a crowd behind a snooker table
The setup inside the Alexandra Palace during the tournament

The Masters is an invitational snooker toornament that wis first held in 1975,[1] wi the tap-16 players frae the snooker Warld rankins invited tae participate.[2] The 2020 Masters wis the seicont Triple Crown event o the 2019–20 snooker season, follaein the 2019 UK Championship and preceding the 2020 World Snooker Championship.[3] The toornament wis held atween 12 and 19 Januar 2020.[4] The 16 heichest-ranked players accordin tae the world rankings efter the UK Championship in December 2019 war invited tae the event.[5] Seiven-time Masters champion and 2019 runner-up Ronnie O'Sullivan, ranked third, chose nae tae enter; his place wis awairdit tae Ali Carter, who wis ranked 17t prior tae the toornament.[5] World Snooker reportit that O'Sullivan haed pulled oot o the event for "personal reasons", but he later commented that the reason thay haed stated wis a "mistake" and that he haed nae wished tae tak pairt.[6][7] David Gilbert made his Masters debut at the event.[8]

The draw for the toornament wis held during the feenal o the 2019 UK Championship.[9] As in previous years, the tap aicht seeds war allocated fixed poseetions in the draw.[10] Aw matches war played as best-o-11-frames matches, except for the feenal which wis played ower a maximum o 19 frames.[11] The week afore the 2020 Masters, organisers Warld Snooker war re-branded as the "World Snooker Tour". In addition tae this chynge, the Triple Crown wis renamed the "Triple Crown Series", players who haed won aw three events wore a crown on thair playin waistcoats.[12] The 2020 Masters wis the first event tae featur thir changes in branding.[13] The toornament wis sponsored bi sports betting company Dafabet.[14]

Prize fund[eedit | eedit soorce]

The prize fund for the event wis £725,000, wi the winner receiving £250,000.[4] This wis an increase o £125,000 ower the previous year's tot prize fund and an extra £50,000 for the tap prize.[10][15]

  • Winner: £250,000
  • Runner-up: £100,000
  • Semi-feenals: £60,000
  • Quarter-feenals: £30,000
  • Last 16: £15,000
  • Highest brak: £15,000
  • Tot: £725,000

Summary[eedit | eedit soorce]

First round[eedit | eedit soorce]

Joe Perry leaning across a snooker table preparing tae tak a shot
Joe Perry won the openin match o the tournament, defeatin the 2019 UK Champion Ding Junhui.

The Masters began on 12 Januar 2020 wi first-roond matches played as best-o-11-frames. The 2019 UK champion and aicht seed Ding Junhui teuk on 15t seed Joe Perry in the openin match. Perry wis runner-up in his last appearance at the event in 2017 but haed nae participated in the intervening twa years, whilst Ding haed won anly three matches at the Masters syne winnin the event in 2011.[16] Perry teuk the openin frame, afore Ding completit a brak o 135 in the seicont frame, the first century break o the toornament. Perry won frame three and Ding teuk the fowert tae tie the match at 2–2 at the interval.[17] Perry teuk a 3–2 lead afore Ding again equalised at 3–3, but then Perry scored a brak o 93 tae retake the lead at 4–3. Ding, on a brak o 41 and likely tae win frame aicht, ran oot o poseetion allouin Perry tae increase his lead tae 5–3, winnin the match in the next frame.[16][17] He commented afterwards that "the interval came at the right time" for him as his performance improved in the seicont hauf o the match.[17]

John Higgins preparing tae tak a shot
John Higgins (pictured at the event) wis ane o juist twa higher-ranked players tae win in the first roond.

Three-time Masters champion and fowert seed Mark Selby played the lowest seed, Ali Carter, in the seicont first-roond match. Carter, 17t in the Warld rankins, haed qualified for the event efter Warld nummer three Ronnie O'Sullivan haed chosen nae tae participate.[5] Carter won the openin frame, escaping frae a snooker wi a fluke shot that resulted in him potting a red ball when 8–51 behind. He an aw won frame twa, efter requirin twa snookers, an wis leadin 3–1 at the interval.[17] Selby then won three consecutive frames and teuk the lead for the first time, includin a brak o 94 in frame sax, but Carter responded bi takkin the next three frames, wi braks o 63 and 68 in the last twa, tae win the match 6–4.[17]

The 2012 Masters champion Neil Robertson played UK Championship runner-up Stephen Maguire. Robertson won the first fower frames tae lead 4–0 at the interval, an later 5–1,[18] afore Maguire teuk frame seiven wi a brak o 105.[18] During this frame, he played a shot that BBC commentator Steve Davis descrived as "the most amazing shot in the history of snooker." In attemptin tae pot a reid ball intae the tap right pocket, Maguire struck the cue ball wi sic force that the reid leapt intae the air efter hitting the back o the pocket and landed on the table. The shot haed sae much backspin that it rolled back intae the pocket; the cue ball jumped the pack o reds, hit the knuckle o the right middle pocket and went in-off in the bottom right pocket.[19] Robertson wis leadin 56–0 in frame aicht, but Maguire capitalised on missed shots tae win the frame.[20] He an aw teuk the next twa frames tae force a deciding frame.[18] Robertson gained the first chance in the feenal frame, but missed a shot on the black, allouin Maguire tae mak a brak o 62 and win the match. Maguire wis informed afterwards that at the interval follaein the first fower frames, bookmakers haed made him 25:1 against winnin the match.[18]

Sean Murphy leaning ower a table lining up a shot uisin a brig stick
Ninth seed Shaun Murphy defeatit the defendin champion Judd Trump 6–3 in the first roond.

Debutant David Gilbert played 2018 Masters champion Mark Allen. Gilbert won the first frame wi a brak o 77, an the seicont wi a brak o 121. Allen wis leadin 59–12 in frame three, afore Gilbert cleared the table wi a brak o 58 tae clinch the frame, an an aw teuk frame fower tae lead 4–0 at the interval.[18] Allen then won frame five, but Gilbert teuk the next twa frames, includin a brak o 95, tae win the match 6–1. Haein missed anly aicht pots during the entire match, Gilbert commented that his performance wis "probably the best [he had] ever played".[18]

Defendin champion Judd Trump met 2015 Masters champion Shaun Murphy in the first roond. Trump made three century braks in the first five frames tae lead 3–2.[21] The third o thir wis his 678th century in competitive play, muivin him intae third place in the leet o players that hae made the maist career century braks.[21] Despite Trump's strong start, Murphy teuk aw o the next fower frames tae win 6–3,[21] a scoreline that Trump later descrived as "flattering" for Murphy.[21][22] Twa-time champion John Higgins played Barry Hawkins, wi Higgins winnin the first five frames o the match. Hawkins teuk frame sax wi a century brak, afore Higgins won frame seiven tae triumph 6–1.[21][23] Seedit fowert, Higgins wis the first higher-ranked player tae win thair first-roond match and progress tae the quarter-feenals.[24]

On 15 Januar, the feenal day o the first roond, the 2018 runner-up Kyren Wilson played Jack Lisowski, and twa-time Masters champion Mark Williams played Stuart Bingham. Lisowski won the openin twa frames o the first match, afore Wilson teuk sax frames in a row tae win 6–2.[25] Wilson later remarked that Lisowski wis "flawless for two frames", but O'Sullivan commentating for Eurosport said o Lisowski: "to lose six frames on the bounce, you can't do that. There's something seriously wrong in your game."[26] Seedit seivent, Wilson wis ane o anly twa higher-ranked players tae win in the first roond, the ither bein Higgins on the previous day. During frame five o the match, referee Ben Williams wis stung bi a wasp when attemptin tae remove it frae the table.[25] The ither match wis tied 2–2 at the interval; Bingham then won fower straucht frames, wi braks o 50, 76, 86 and 54, tae defeat Williams 6–2.[24]

Quarter-finals[eedit | eedit soorce]

David Gilbert lining up a shot while leaning ower a table
David Gilbert, playin in the event for the first time, defeatit Stephen Maguire 6–2 tae reach the semi-finals.

The quarter-feenals war played on 16 and 17 Januar as best-o-11-frames.[27] Shaun Murphy played Joe Perry in the first quarter-feenal match. Murphy won three o the first fower frames makin three braks o 50 or mair.[27][28] Perry teuk frame five, then Murphy won frame sax tae lead 4–2. On a brak o 50 and leukin likely tae win frame seiven, Perry missed a reid, allouin Murphy tae clear the table for a 5–2 lead, sicweys winnin the match in frame aicht.[27]

Ali Carter played John Higgins in the seicont quarter-feenal. Carter opened a 4–1 lead, afore Higgins compiled a brak o 140 tae win frame sax, an then teuk frame seiven wi a brak o 73 tae muive within ane frame o his opponent at 3–4.[27] In frame aicht, Carter played a roll-up tae the yellow ball, which wis cried as a foul bi referee Desislava Bozhilova, who deemed the cue ball nae tae hae made contact wi the object ball.[29] Carter, houiver, believed that the balls haed touched and challenged the referee's decision, which wis then reversed.[27] Video replays o the event showed that the balls haed nae actually made contact.[29] Carter won the frame, as well as frame nine, tae win the match 6–3.[29]

David Gilbert played Stephen Maguire in the third quarter-feenal. Gilbert won the first frame wi the heichest brak o the toornament, a 144.[30] He an aw won the seicont frame, followed bi a brak o 91 in the third tae lead 3–0. Maguire teuk frame fower, but Gilbert won the next bi a single pynt, an aw winnin frame sax bi a narrow margin.[30] Maguire won frame seiven wi a brak o 94, fawin short o a 101 efter playin a foul shot.[30] Gilbert teuk the next frame tae win the match 6–2.[30]

The last quarter-feenal wis atween Kyren Wilson and Stuart Bingham. Wilson won the openin frame wi a 139 total clearance, and then established a 4–1 lead. Bingham won frame sax wi a double on the black ball, an teuk the next twa frames tae draw level at 4–4.[30][31] He then won twa faur frames, makin it five in a row, tae win the match 6–4.[30][31][32]

Semi-finals[eedit | eedit soorce]

Ali Carter leaning ower a table while lining up a shot
World nummer 17 Ali Carter defeatit Shaun Murphy 6–3 tae reach his first Masters final.

The semi-feenals war played on 18 Januar as best-o-11-frames. The sole remainin umwhile Masters champion, Shaun Murphy, played Ali Carter. The first frame featurt a brak o 68 frae Carter, who later won the frame efter some safety play.[33] Carter won the seicont frame; Murphy won the third wi a brak o 105, but Carter won the fowert frame tae lead 3–1.[33][34] Murphy scored his seicont century in the match in frame five—a 110. Murphy wis on course tae mak anither century in frame sax, but a poor shot meant that he finished on anly 56, allouin Carter tae lead 4–2. Carter looked likely tae lead 5–2, requirin three shots tae win frame seiven, but missed a shot on the brown ball, which Murphy won.[33] Leadin bi 30 wi 35 pynts remainin, Carter declined tae pot a blue ball worth five pynts, playin a snooker insteid. Murphy escaped the snooker and laid a snooker o his ain. Escaping this snooker, Carter fluked the shot allouin him tae win the frame.[33] Carter won frame nine tae win the match wi a brak o 97.[34][35]

The seicont semi-feenal wis atween David Gilbert and Stuart Bingham. Gilbert haed yet tae defeat Bingham, haein met him in professional play on ten previous occasions.[36][37] Bingham won the first three frames, wi a brak o 94 in the first, afore Gilbert won frame fower.[33] Bingham won the next twa frames, includin a brak o 75, tae lead 5–1.[33] Gilbert won frame seiven, but Bingham teuk the aicht, includin his anly century o the toornament, tae win the match 6–2. The frame ball shot on the reid rattled in the bottom right corner, afore bein fluked intae the left corner pocket.[33]

Final[eedit | eedit soorce]

Bingham playin a shot wi a rest
Stuart Bingham won the event for the first time, tae acome the auldest Masters champion, aged 43.

The feenal wis played as a best-o-19 frames match ower twa sessions on 19 Januar.[11] The twa feenalists war Ali Carter and Stuart Bingham, baith players frae Essex.[38] The pair haed a 9–8 record o matches won in previous play in favour o Bingham.[39] This wis the first time that aither player haed reached the feenal o the Masters;[38] ranked 17t in the Warld, Carter wis the first player syne Ronnie O'Sullivan in 2014 tae appear in the feenal while ranked ootside the Warld's tap 16.[39] The match referee wis Brendan Moore.[40] The winner o the match wad receive the Paul Hunter Trophy named efter three-time winner.[38]

The first session began at 1:00 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time.[33] Carter won the first frame wi a brak o 126,[33] afore Bingham claimed the next twa frames, efter missed shots frae Carter, tae lead 2–1.[33] Carter attempted a maximum break in frame fower, potting seiven reds and seiven blacks, but anly scored 56. Efter Bingham scored 23, Carter clinched the frame tae tie the match at 2–2.[33] He an aw won frame five, which wis briefly delayed bi a "whoopee cushion" device bein set off in the crowd.[41][42] Bingham teuk the next three frames tae develop a 5–3 lead going intae the seicont session.[41]

On resumption o the match, Carter won the first twa frames tae draw level again at 5–5. He an aw won frame 11 wi a brak o 95 and frame 12 wi a brak o 135, tae lead 7–5 at the feenal interval.[43] Bingham then won fower consecutive frames, aw wi braks o 50 plus, tae level at 7–7 and then muive intae a 9–7 lead, ane frame away frae veectory.[43] Carter teuk frame 17 wi a brak o 77,[33][43] but Bingham won the match 10–8 in the next frame, wi a brak o 109, his anly century o the toornament.[43] Aged 43 years and aicht months, Bingham became the auldest winner o the toornament, bein five month aulder than the previous holder o this record, Ray Reardon, who haed won the Masters title in 1976 aged 43 years and three month.[41]

Main draw[eedit | eedit soorce]

Below are the results frae the event. Players in bold denote the match winners, an nummers tae the left o the player names are the seedings.[44][45][46]

First round
Best of 11 frames
Quarter-finals
Best of 11 frames
Semi-finals
Best of 11 frames
Final
Best of 19 frames
            
1  Judd Trump (ENG) 3
9  Shaun Murphy (ENG) 6
9 Ingland Shaun Murphy 6
15 Ingland Joe Perry 3
8  Ding Junhui (CHN) 3
15  Joe Perry (ENG) 6
9 Ingland Shaun Murphy 3
16 Ingland Ali Carter 6
5  Mark Selby (ENG) 4
16  Ali Carter (ENG) 6
16 Ingland Ali Carter 6
4 Scotland John Higgins 3
4  John Higgins (SCO) 6
10  Barry Hawkins (ENG) 1
16 Ingland Ali Carter 8
12 Ingland Stuart Bingham 10
3  Neil Robertson (AUS) 5
14  Stephen Maguire (SCO) 6
14 Scotland Stephen Maguire 2
11 Ingland David Gilbert 6
6  Mark Allen (NIR) 1
11  David Gilbert (ENG) 6
11 Ingland David Gilbert 2
12 Ingland Stuart Bingham 6
7  Kyren Wilson (ENG) 6
13  Jack Lisowski (ENG) 2
7 Ingland Kyren Wilson 4
12 Ingland Stuart Bingham 6
2  Mark Williams (WAL) 2
12  Stuart Bingham (ENG) 6

Feenal[eedit | eedit soorce]

feenal: Best o 19 frames. Referee: Ingland Brendan Moore.
Alexandra Palace, London, England, 19 Januar 2020.
Ali Carter (16)
 Ingland
8–10 Stuart Bingham (12)
 Ingland
Afternoon: 126–8 (126), 5–122 (75), 56–78, 73–23 (56), 94–0 (93), 69–81 (66), 5–96 (50), 45–67
Evening: 87–4, 75–22, 95–37 (95), 134–0 (133), 8–71 (64), 0–85 (85), 26–63 (58), 0–88 (88), 77–3 (77), 1–109 (109)
133 Highest brak 109
2 Century braks 1
6 50+ braks 8

Century breaks[eedit | eedit soorce]

Thare wis a tot o 18 century braks made during the toornament.[47] Neil Robertson pledged tae pey £100 for every century made, plus an additional £5,000, towards New South Wales' wildlife charity NSW Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service tae help recovery frae the 2019–20 Australian bushfires.[20] Warld Snooker Tour indicated that thay wad donate the same amount.[20]

Broadcasting[eedit | eedit soorce]

The toornament wis broadcast live in the United Kingdom bi BBC Sport, as well as on Eurosport in Europe.[48] Warldwide, the event wis covered bi China Central Television and Superstars Online in China and Sky Sports in New Zealand.[48] The event wis simulcast in Hong Kong bi Now TV wi additional commentary; DAZN covered the event across Canadae, Brazil an the United States.[48]

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

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External links[eedit | eedit soorce]