Masters 2019: Mark Allen knocked out by Luca Brecel in round one
|2019 Dafabet Masters|
|Venue: Alexandra Palace, London Dates: 13-20 January|
|Coverage: Watch live across BBC Two, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, Connected TV, the BBC Sport website and mobile app.|
Reigning champion Mark Allen is out of the Masters following a 6-5 defeat by world number 14 Luca Brecel in the tournament’s opening match in London.
The Northern Irishman trailed 3-1 at the mid-session interval at Alexandra Palace but levelled with a 136 break.
But Belgian Brecel, 23, hit back with a 140 in a high-quality match that also saw seven half-century breaks.
World number six Allen knocked in a 99 to level at 5-5 but an error in the decider allowed Brecel to advance.
Allen, 32, knocked a red into a middle pocket but the cue ball cannoned off the green into the opposite pocket.
“It was so tough to get over the line in the last frame, but I managed to play a few safeties and [Allen] made a mistake,” Brecel, who moves into the quarter-finals, told BBC Sport.
“Last year, I was always doing the right things but maybe not trying hard enough.
“This year, I said to my girlfriend and my parents that 2019 was going to be a new mindset, dedicated, just snooker and nothing else.
“It’s working and I’ve have been playing well the past few months.”
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Allen, from Antrim, won three titles last year, including his maiden Triple Crown title when he beat Kyren Wilson in last year’s Masters final.
He narrowly missed the chance to win a second Triple Crown trophy in December when he was defeated by Ronnie O’Sullivan in the UK Championship final.