Ali Carter ended a seven-year wait for ranking silverware by thrashing Tom Ford 10-3 to win the BetVictor German Masters in Berlin.
Victory sees two-time Crucible finalist Carter notch up the fifth ranking title of his career. However, his most recent event win had dated all the way back to the 2016 World Open.
Carter is now a two-time German Masters champion. He first won the event in 2013, when he defeated Marco Fu 9-6 in the final. The Captain also made the title match in 2017, but was on the wrong end of a 9-6 scoreline against Anthony Hamilton.
It was an emotional moment this evening for Carter, who hoisted the Brandon Parker Trophy aloft in front of a rapturous capacity crowd of over 2,000 at the iconic Tempodrom. However, the win carries a raft of additional benefits.
The £80,000 top prize puts Carter into the top eight of the one-year list, which means he has qualified for the upcoming Players Championship and will almost certainly be in attendance at the Tour Championship. He’s also set for a return to the top 16 in the world rankings, putting him in position for an automatic place at the World Championship.
The Captain now leads the BetVictor Series standings, with just the BetVictor Welsh Open left to go. The player who accumulates the most prize money over the qualifying events will land a bumper £150,000 bonus.
Defeat will come as a disappointment for Ford, who falls short again in his second ranking final. The Leicester cueman was runner-up to Mark Selby in his only other ranking final appearance, at the 2016 Paul Hunter Classic.
However, Ford has the consolation of the £35,000 second prize and can reflect on another impressive week in an already strong season. He made the semi-finals of the UK Championship before Christmas and was also a quarter-finalist at the BetVictor Shoot Out.
The afternoon session saw Carter rally from 2-0 down to establish a healthy 6-3 lead. He would carry that momentum over when the evening’s play got underway.
The Essex potter took a scrappy opening frame to extend his advantage, before breaks of 75 and 41 in the 11th made it 8-3.
The 12th saw Carter move one from the win, after a tricky clearance of 39 saw him steal the frame on the black. He made no mistakes getting over the line, firing in 63 to secure the title.
“It is immense. My partner Lee is here with me and I was saying to her that the journey of getting to ten feels like a mile away. I just stayed in the moment and took it bit by bit. I heard a song earlier, which was Step by Step by Whitney Houston. I thought to take it step by step and day by day and I’ve got there,” said 43-year-old Carter.
“To be honest, over the last two or three months I’ve had dreams about winning a tournament. When I’ve woken up, I’ve been absolutely distraught. After Chris Wakelin beat my highest break in the Shoot Out, which I wasn’t happy about, I said to my friend that normally means something good is around the corner. It certainly was.
“My coach Chris Henry has been massive. He has transformed me. He is a great person to be around and has become a friend. He has given me so much confidence in my technique. I think I missed one ball in that match. I know Tom didn’t play as well as he can, but I put him under a lot of pressure.
“There are add-ons from winning the tournament and that is all going on in your head. You need to keep that quiet and stay in the here and now. All of that is in the future, but you need perspective on life. You have to live for the moment.”
Ford said: “I felt good in the first couple of frames, but Ali just played the game and kept it tight. I kept on making silly mistakes and he just punished me from there.
“It’s frustrating because I played really well in the semi-final. I’m sorry to everyone here that you’ve only seen four frames this evening and I couldn’t play a little bit better.”
Article by WST.