Mark Selby’s lack of form in major events continued after he suffered a shock defeat in the German Masters.
The world number one and reigning world champion was shown the exit door early in Berlin this afternoon when he suffered a 5-3 defeat to China’s Xiao Guodong in the last 32 round.
The defeat adds to what has been a disappointing and somewhat unusual run of form for Selby in major events.
In January Selby, who has been one of snooker’s most consistent performers and highest achievers in recent years, suffered a first round defeat in the Masters losing a final frame decider to Mark Williams and just weeks before he lost in the second round of the UK Championship losing to Scott Donaldson.
Selby won the International Championship in November – his only silverware so far this season – and won the Championship League group in which he competed in last month but Selby has failed to find his ‘A game’ recently.
But victory for Guodong means he will next take on fellow Chinese player Liang Wenbo in the last 16 stage.
Meanwhile, Masters winner Mark Allen also had to pack his bags early after he suffered a 5-4 defeat to Matthew Selt in a high-quality contest held on Wednesday night.
Allen, who won his first Masters title last month after beating Kyren Wilson, came back from 4-2 down with breaks of 72 and 100 to force a decider but it was Selt who clinched the match winning the all important ninth frame.
Also out is defending champion Anthony Hamilton who suffered a 5-1 loss to Jimmy Robertson.
Meanwhile, there were welcome wins for the likes of Ding Junhui and Judd Trump who both have been out of form in recent times.
Barry Hawkins’ miserable run of form continued after he suffered a 5-3 defeat to former world champion Graeme Dott.
Hawkins, who is currently positioned number 7 in the world rankings, has failed to reach a quarter-final of a major ranking event so far this season.
Tonight (Thursday) sees the first Last 16 matches played with four quarter-final places up for grabs. Judd Trump takes on Joe Perry and Ding Junhui faces Ricky Walden.
The other two matches see Gary Wilson play Jimmy Robertson and this season’s Northern Ireland Open winner Mark Williams meets Matthew Selt.