Judd Trump will make the trip to Berlin to chase a third straight German Masters title but only after holding off a spirited Anthony Hamilton 5-3 in the last 64 in Cannock.
The world number one – who defeated Jack Lisowski 9-2 in last season's final and Neil Robertson 9-6 in 2020 respectively – defeated Tian Pengfei 5-1 in the first round on Wednesday and looked on course for a similar comfortable outcome as breaks of 57, 72 and 74 saw him ease 3-0 clear in the race to five.
- Williams eases past Lines in opening German Masters qualifier, Xintong powers home four centuries
- Trump begins title defence with win but Hendry suffers early exit
Trump begins title defence with win but Hendry suffers early exit
But 2017 German Masters winner Hamilton showed his class to level up at 3-3 with knocks of 74 and 130 bookending a tight fifth frame that the 'Sheriff of Pottingham' edged to close to one behind.
Trump had suffered a similar story in the Northern Ireland Open last eight last week as champion Mark Allen hit back from 3-0 behind to claim a 5-3 win, but he steeled himself superbly with further runs of 58 and 100 sealing his progress to the German capital early next year.
Watch Judd Trump's stunning 147 maximum break in full
The last 32 qualify for the final stages, with the Tempodrom in Berlin staging the tournament between 26-30 January 2022, which you can stream live and on demand on discovery+, the Eurosport app and eurosport.com.
But there was bad news for last season's German Masters semi-finalist Barry Hawkins, who surprisingly lost 5-3 to former Shoot Out winner Michael Georgiou in the second round, and 2015 world champion Stuart Bingham, who went down 5-1 to Luca Brecel in the first round.
Hawkins rallied from 3-1 down to level at 3-3 with a 119 break helping his mood, but amateur Georgiou, who is off the main tour at the moment, edged the seventh frame before a closing break of 52 sealed his progress.
Bingham and Brecel split the first two frames before the Belgian number one claimed the next four frames to reach the final stages.
UK champion Neil Robertson opened his campaign courtesy of a 5-2 victory over Fraser Patrick.
'One of the flukes of the Championship' - Robertson shot jumps out of two pockets
A 64 break from the Australian saw him move 3-1 clear before the Scotsman compiled 65 to close to 3-2 behind.
Robertson sensed the danger in finishing with runs of 58 and 134 to complete his progress.
Latest German Masters qualifying results
First round (round of 128)
- Ben Woollaston 2-5 Zhang Anda
- Graeme Dott 4-5 Si Jiahui
- Jamie Wilson 1-5 Wu Yize
- Stuart Bingham 1-5 Luca Brecel
- Neil Robertson 5-2 Fraser Patrick
- Simon Lichtenberg 5-1 Sanderson Lam
- Ricky Walden 5-2 Jackson Page
- Jordan Brown 4-5 Michael White
Second round (round of 64)
- Judd Trump 5-3 Anthony Hamilton
- Michael Georgiou 5-3 Barry Hawkins
- Craig Steadman 5-2 Zhang Jiankang
- Gao Yang 5-4 Xiao Guodong
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Williams eases past Lines in opening German Masters qualifier, Xintong powers home four centuries
Maguire and McGill advance in opening German Masters qualifiers