Ali Carter is excited rather than intimidated ahead of his Masters final clash with Ronnie O’Sullivan on Sunday, revealing that he has been repeating a mantra of success all week.
The Captain has been in brilliant form this week at Alexandra Palace, beating Mark Williams, Judd Trump and Mark Allen in a trio of superb wins.
Things do not get any easier for the 44-year-old with the Rocket waiting for him in the showpiece and he knows very well how difficult it will be, having lost to O’Sullivan in two World Championship finals.
Carter is talking positively, looking forward to the ‘great challenge’ rather than seeing it as an intimidating mountain to climb.
‘He’s been a big part in everyone’s career, we’ve all been around a long time, the top players,’ Carter told the BBC.
‘He’s obviously the greatest of all time, I’ve got ultimate respect for him as a snooker player. But what a great challenge tomorrow to play him in here. Forget everything else, what a great challenge.
‘If I get beat 10-0 then, you know…but I’m not going to get beat 10-0. I’ll give it my best shot.’
Asked by Eurosport if he could reveal any of these mantras, Carter said: ‘I am 2024 Masters champion. I don’t know, why not tell yourself that?
‘You’ve got to believe that to get it. Sometimes if you believe it it does come your way. I’m trying my best. I’ve got a big challenge tomorrow. But I’ve had big challenges all week, Williams, Trump, Allen. Bring it on.’
Carter and O’Sullivan go back decades and have never been great pals, with their tetchy relationship kicking off in the 2018 World Championship when they got physical during their Crucible meeting in ‘Bargegate’.
The Captain is keen to focus on himself and his own game in this huge final, though, looking to win his first Triple Crown title, and believing he is in the form to do just that.
‘I’m just trying to get on with it,’ he told the BBC. ‘Not over-complicate matters and just trying to enjoy it. I’ve got a big day tomorrow, a good challenge, but I’m in a good place. I’m going for it.
‘I’ve had a consistent season, alright I haven’t won this season so far, but a final, semis, quarters, beaten good players, made lots of big breaks, competing well and not really throwing in a bad performance.
‘I’m consistently playing at a high level, if I can do that tomorrow…we’ll see what happens.’
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