Snooker: Carter returns in style to face O'Sullivan in final

 

the crucible

Ali Carter came back from the brink of retirement to take his place in today's World Championship showpiece after he beat Stephen Maguire 17-12 in the semi-final.

Carter was suffering so badly with Crohn's disease, the bowel condition he was diagnosed with nine years ago, that he considered walking away from the tour.

Today he will face Ronnie O'Sullivan, who beat Matthew Stevens 17-10 to reach his fourth final here – but his first in since 2008, when he faced Ali Carter and won a third title. Carter has never been crowned world champion, and has never defeated O'Sullivan in 11 attempts.

This World Championship would have been his last tournament but instead it could be the making of Carter. He admitted reaching the final had surpassed his expectations. "I'm as surprised as you are," he said. "I'm delighted to be through. The job's not done yet, though. I'm not just happy to just be in the final, so we'll see what happens."

Maguire admitted he had underestimated Carter, saying: "I think in the first session I didn't give him enough respect." Carter saw that from the early stages of the exchange on Thursday. "Stephen tried to stamp his authority and I think he thought he was going to beat me quite easily, the way he started the match," he said. "I wasn't having any of it. I was up for it. I played some really solid stuff, there weren't any fireworks, and I got the job done."

The 32-year-old resumed with a 14-10 lead and Maguire failed to produce the form that saw him send Stephen Hendry into retirement after a 13-2 victory in the quarter-finals. When he lost a dramatic opening frame yesterday his hopes effectively were over. Carter, with a 21-point lead, was put in a clever snooker behind the black, which was by the side rail near the yellow spot.

Carter tried six times to strike the final red and failed, and on the last occasion referee Leo Scullion elected not to call a miss. Carter had been a whisker away from hitting the ball, so Maguire had to play from where the white finished. The double was on but the red wriggled out of the jaws of the pocket. Carter produced an outstanding pot to the far left corner and soon took the frame.

Maguire's head dropped and he lost the next frame, Carter having fluked a red in the process. The Scot then missed a straight red to the centre pocket in the next frame, but it did not cost him, and he took the frame and won the next, too. But when they returned from the mid-session interval, Maguire potted a long red but followed it into the pocket with the cue ball. Carter rifled in a break of 70, whereupon Maguire offered his hand.

Resuming his semi-final against O'Sullivan 15-9 behind, Stevens made a century break to keep his hopes alive, but O'Sullivan hit back with a superb 130 and took the next frame in style to reach the best-of-35 final.

"I've tried to come here and play expressive snooker and be aggressive to show the fans that I can be good in spells," said O'Sullivan. "I've learnt to control my emotions and not letting it all out. It's not always the most comfortable place to be and it's about limiting the damage to yourself.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Arts and Entertainment
Game Of Thrones
Uh-oh, winter is coming. Ouch, my eyes! Ygritte’s a goner. Lysa’s a goner. Tywin’s a goner. Look, a dragon
tvSpoiler warning:The British actor says viewers have 'not seen the last' of his character
Sport
The Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City
premier league

The Independent's live blog of today's Premier League action

News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
voices
Sport
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: 'Time Heist' sees a darker side to Peter Capaldi's Doctor
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

KS1 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Supply Teacher re...

KS2 Teaching Supply Wakefield

£140 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS2 Supply Teacher r...

Year 1/2 Teacher

£130 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Teacher required,...

Primary Teachers Needed for Supply in Wakefield

£140 - £160 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1&2 Supply Te...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam