By G9ija

Many of the biggest names in snooker have already secured their places at the World Grand Prix next week, but for the likes of Shaun Murphy and Ding Junhui qualification still hangs in the balance.

32 players will reach for the Grand Prix in Cheltenham, based on the one-year ranking list, but with just days to go before the tournament six of the current top 32 could still miss out.

The German Masters takes place this week, before the World Grand Prix, allowing players to jump into the top 32 just in time for Cheltenham, and cause some to miss out.

Both Murphy and Ding currently reside in the top 32 on the one-year list and will retain their spots if they avoid an early exit in Berlin.

However, Marco Fu and Gary Wilson, who are currently #30 and #32 respectively failed to qualify so there is nothing they can do to help their cause.

Fu and Wilson will just have to hope that the likes of Zhou Yuelong, Robert Milkins and Peter Ebdon are eliminated early at the Tempodrom and don’t usurp them in the rankings.

For Ding and Murphy, a run to the last 16 would probably be enough to see them make it to the Grand Prix, while a quarter-final appearance would all-but guarantee it.

The winner in Berlin will take home £80,000, with semi-finalists winning £20,000 for their efforts, so semi-final runs for the likes of Milkins, Ebdon and even Ricky Walden will see them make a last minute break into the Grand Prix draw.

Murphy takes on Ebdon in the first round in Germany, a match which will decide the two men’s respective fates, while the other hopefuls also have tough draws.

Yuelong plays Mark Williams, Milkins meets Barry Hawkins and Walden faces Mark Selby, so their Grand Prix dreams could all die pretty early. The German Masters begins on Wednesday 30 January with the final on Sunday 3 February in Berlin.

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