Snooker classics: Ali Carter beats Ronnie O'Sullivan at the Crucible Theatre in 2018

Ali Carter held off Ronnie O'Sullivan in a tense affair

Ali Carter pulled off one of the biggest wins of his career when knocking Ronnie O'Sullivan out of the World Snooker Championship in 2018.


On an afternoon of high tension, emotion and frayed tempers, Ali Carter held his nerve under the most extreme pressure to progress to the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship thanks to a 13-9 victory over five-times champion Ronnie O'Sullivan.

Despite starting the match as big underdog, Carter signalled his intentions as early as frame one and when he added a brilliant clearance of 115 in frame five, it was evident O'Sullivan would have a real scrap on his hands.

More smart play from Carter allowed him to end the first session with a two-frame advantage and upon the resumption, he quickly extended his lead to 8-3 before O'Sullivan rallied to win the next two frames.

Nevertheless, Carter preserved his two-frame advantage when sharing the next four frames to ensure he led 9-7 overnight and leave O'Sullivan facing the prospect of a shock exit.

The expected O'Sullivan comeback appeared set to take flight when the players returned for the concluding session, the Rocket taking frame 17 with a masterful clearance of 66, but Carter doused the flames by winning the next two before a flashpoint in frame 19.

Needing a snooker, O'Sullivan enjoyed a handy piece of luck when leaving Carter in trouble before a clear brushing of shoulders between the two players as they passed each other.

A few words were then exchanged and O'Sullivan responded by claiming the final frame before the mid-session interval.

O'Sullivan looked ready to pull another one back when well set on 54 but when a simple blue into the middle pocket was missed, his fate was all but sealed as Carter showed nerves of steel to clear the table.

The great O'Sullivan escape failed to materialise as Carter always held the upper hand in frame 22 and went on to record a historic victory, the two players sharing a gracious handshake afterwards before Carter could enjoy an emotional celebration.

Carter told the BBC afterwards: "I'm just delighted to win, to get through. He's [Ronnie] such as amazing snooker player but he wasn't having it all his own way, I stuck to my task and today was my day.

"He was always going to go on a little spurt, he's always going to reel off frames but I just stuck in there."

On the shoulder brush, Carter added: "It was nothing really, I was walking to the table and he was walking to his chair.

"There was a lot of tension out there. It means a lot, it's a big tournament, but I'm only in the quarter-finals and I'm here to do a job.

"I want a world title on my CV."

O'Sullivan was gracious in defeat, telling the BBC: "I just wasn't good enough. He was first to every punch, he did a Mayweather on me.

"Ali's a tough competitor, he's always had that in him and that's why he's won so many tournaments and has been around so long.

"Ali was strong out there and he deserved his victory."

On the exchange, he added: "Sometimes it gets a bit tense out there but it was all a bit of fun and it's behind us now.

"Good luck to Ali for the rest of the tournament."

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