Hossein Vafaei enjoyed arguably the greatest night of his nine-year career as he destroyed six-times world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan 5-0 with a barrage of brilliant scoring in a huge upset in the first round of the German Masters in Cannock.
Iran's leading player has reached three ranking event semi-finals since turning professional in 2012, but this was perhaps the most notable victory of his career such was the ruthlessness of his scoring and speed of thought among the balls as he completed victory in only 54 minutes.
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Apart from breaking down among the balls in the second frame, O'Sullivan did little or nothing wrong as the inspired world number 60 pieced together breaks of 52, 50, 81 and a glorious 141 to race 4-0 clear in under an hour.
That became a 5-0 victory quickly after the mid-session interval with the world number three only making 24 after potting a red off the break-off shot – going for broke with an ultra-aggressive opening play – in throwing caution to the wind before Vafaei pounced with another lovely knock of 64 to end any hopes of a recovery by the record 37-times ranking event winner.
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The shock outcome also ends O'Sullivan's hopes of emulating his success in winning the German Masters a decade on from his 2012 victory when he defeated Stephen Maguire 9-7 in an epic final.
Vafaei will meet former Welsh Open finalist Andrew Higginson, a 5-1 winner against Steven Hallworth, on Tuesday with a trip to Germany on the line.
The last 32 qualify for the final stages of the German Masters, with the Tempodrom in Berlin staging the tournament between 26-30 January 2022, which you can stream live and on demand on discovery+.
There was better news for world champion Mark Selby, who thumped Ashley Carty 5-1 earlier on Monday boosted by breaks of 57, 112 and 66 to secure a trip to the German capital in January.
LATEST GERMAN MASTERS QUALIFYING RESULTS
First round (round of 128)
- Elliot Slessor 2-5 Zhao Jianbo
- David Gilbert 5-4 David Grace
- Lei Peifan 5-3 Soheil Vahedi
- Yan Bingtao 5-2 Chen Zifan
- Hossein Vafaei 5-0 Ronnie O'Sullivan
- Ben Hancorn 5-3 Fergal O'Brien
- Liang Wenbo 5-1 Reanne Evans
- Andrew Higginson 5-1 Steven Hallworth
Second round (round of 64)
- Mark Davis 1-5 Sam Craigie
- Matthew Stevens 3-5 Ken Doherty
- Barry Pinches 5-1 John J Astley
- Ashley Carty 1-5 Mark Selby
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