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Live Snooker on Wednesday January 30: German Masters 2019 Day One preview and order of play

Mark Williams plays a shot (credit: Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images)

The 2019 German Masters gets underway on Wednesday with defending champion Mark Williams and reigning Masters champion Judd Trump among the big names in action in Berlin.

The eleventh ranking tournament of the season features 32 players battling it out for £400,000 in prize money at The Tempodrom.

Williams, who also claimed the title here in 2011, is bidding to become the first player to successfully retain the crown and commences his title defence against Chinese prospect Zhou Yuelong in the opening session.

The reigning World Champion endured a relatively quiet end to 2018 on the table, having won the World Open in August before a string of Last 16 exits, including a 6-3 defeat to Neil Robertson at The Masters a fortnight ago.

He faces a tricky opener against 21-year-old Zhou - who knocked him out of the English Open last October and is making his debut at this stage of the competition.

Former European Masters semi-finalist and Championship League runner-up, Zhou will be aiming to catch the Welshman cold and get off to a flying start in Berlin.

Newly-crowned Masters Champion Trump kicks off his quest for back-to-back televised titles with a clash against Li Hang in the evening session.

Trump ended an eight-year wait for a Triple Crown title courtesy of his triumph over Ronnie O'Sullivan in the final at Alexandra Palace and will be keen to pick up from where he left off.

Judd Trump plays a shot (Photo by Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images)
Hang, the world number 38, was a semi-finalist in the 2017 China Championship and is bidding to reach the Last 16 of this prestigious tournament for the first time.

Two former World Champions collide in another tasty tussle as 2005 Crucible king Shaun Murphy faces 2002 winner Peter Ebdon.

An up and down season for Murphy so far has seen a run to the final of the Scottish Open sandwiched between First Round exits at the UK Championship and Masters, and he will be desperate to establish some consistency heading in to a crucial period in the snooker calendar.

Ebdon has slipped to 46th in the world rankings as a result of a number of early exits, though he did reach the final of this season's Paul Hunter Classic - losing out to Kyren Wilson in the decider.

Wilson, semi-finalist here in 2016, opens up against former ranking event winner Rory McLeod - a granite competitor renowned for his methodical style of play.

Former Northern Ireland Open finalist Yan Bingtao takes on two-time world finalist Matthew Stevens, with a potential show-down against Trump up for grabs.

Yan has climbed to 21st in the world rankings but has gone almost a year without reaching a Quarter-Final, while Stevens enjoyed a resurgent run to the Semi-Finals of November's International Championship.

Stephen Maguire, who finished runner-up to Ronnie O'Sullivan here seven years ago, begins his campaign against reigning Shoot-Out champion Michael Georgiou.

Maguire was beaten by Mark Selby in Round One of The Masters but has two ranking Semi-Finals to his name this term, while Georgiou has endured a torrid spell, with this his best run in a ranking tournament since last March.

Former Masters finalist Joe Perry aims to navigate his way through a tricky opener against Sam Baird - a former World Championship qualifier who regained his Tour Card at Qualifying School this season.

Multiple ranking event winner Barry Hawkins kick-starts his quest for glory in Germany with a tie against Gloucester's Robert Milkins - whose average shot time of 19.19 seconds is the eighth fastest on the tour.

The action gets underway from 1pm GMT, with all matches to be contested over the best of nine frames.


German Masters 2019 Match Schedule


All times GMT (Local time one hour ahead)

Wednesday January 30

Round One

1pm
Mark Williams v Zhou Yuelong
Sam Baird v Joe Perry
Yan Bingtao v Matthew Stevens

7pm
Peter Ebdon v Shaun Murphy
Rory McLeod v Kyren Wilson
Barry Hawkins v Robert Milkins
Stephen Maguire v Michael Georgiou
Li Hang v Judd Trump


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Live Snooker on Wednesday January 30: German Masters 2019 Day One preview and order of play

The 2019 German Masters gets underway on Wednesday with defending champion Mark Williams and reigning Masters champion Judd Trump among the big names in action in Berlin.

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