Ali Carter takes early lead over Ronnie O'Sullivan in Masters final

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Ali Carter takes early lead over Ronnie O'Sullivan in Masters final
England's Ali Carter (L) looks on as England's Ronnie O'Sullivan plays a shot
England's Ali Carter (L) looks on as England's Ronnie O'Sullivan plays a shot
AFP
In an intriguing showdown at Alexandra Palace on Sunday, Ali Carter (44) orchestrated an impressive 5-3 lead over Ronnie O'Sullivan (48) during the afternoon session of the 2024 Masters final.

Both veterans, O'Sullivan and Carter engaged in a thrilling exchange of century breaks, sharing the initial four frames.

However, it was Carter who seized the moment with a sublime run of 122, followed by clinching two of the next three frames allowing him to establish a commanding advantage over the formidable O'Sullivan.

World number one O'Sullivan, fresh from winning the UK Championship in December, claimed the opening frame, signalling his intent to add another trophy to his collection.

England's Ronnie O'Sullivan reacts in his chair during the Masters snooker tournament final
AFP

Opponents throughout O'Sullivan's journey to the final have struggled to capitalise on his lapses or failed audacious shots. However, Carter showcased a different approach, seemingly up for the occasion.

Four years removed from a heartbreaking loss to Stuart Bingham in the showpiece match, Carter, currently ranked tenth in the world, demonstrated poise and assurance against the 40-time ranking event winner. Notably, O'Sullivan had comfortably triumphed over Carter in their previous encounters in world finals in 2008 and 2012.

Carter's century in the fifth frame marked his eighth of the tournament, matching the record set by O'Sullivan in 2007 and 2009, while he also claimed the third and sixth frames, capitalising on openings left by the Rocket.

While the seventh frame presented a minor setback for Carter, he turned it around with a formidable run of 74 in the afternoon's final frame. O'Sullivan, seizing the opportunity, compiled a break of 86, setting the stage for a riveting finale this evening.

The final concludes this evening from 20:00 CET.

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