Ali Carter ‘gagging to win’ Masters as he hunts down first Triple Crown title

Ali Carter is hunting down his first Triple Crown title (Picture: Getty Images)

Ali Carter would ‘feel a bit aggrieved’ if he finished his career without a Triple Crown title to his name and Judd Trump says there is no reason why he cannot lift the Masters trophy this weekend.

The Captain has looked impressive in his opening two wins at Alexandra Palace, beating Mark WIlliams in round one and then downing Trump in Friday afternoon’s quarter-final.

The 44-year-old had to win the final two frames to claim a 6-5 victory over the reigning champion, which he did with impressive composure and Trump admitted his opponent ‘deserved to win’ and could go all the way this week.

‘There’s no reason why not,’ Trump said of Carter’s title chances. ‘From what I’ve seen no one’s been particularly amazing. I think Shaun Murphy has probably played the best of anyone, you always know Ronnie will turn it on at the weekend, but there’s no reason why not.

‘I think that Ali scores heavy, he’s got good determination. It would be nice to see a new winner.’

Carter is a five-time ranking event winner and a finalist at both the Masters and World Championship. He endured a dip in form and this is his first trip to Alexandra Palace since the 2020 final, but has returned to somewhere near his best, winning the German Masters last season.

He has had a brilliant career, but knows that his Triple Crown record is what he will be judged on, and crucially whether he has won one or not.

‘I know I’ve done well in other tournaments. Winning the German Masters, semis and finals, things like that, but there’s nothing quite like coming here,’ he said. ‘This is where [bangs table] this is where it really matters and you have to be a special kind of player to perform out there in front of a capacity crowd.

2024 MrQ Masters Snooker - Day 3

Judd Trump’s defence at Ally Pally came to an end against Carter (Picture: Getty Images)

‘All the pressure and everything else that goes with it. I’ve reminded myself that I can do that.

‘Out there when the heat is on you’ve got to have something a little bit more to win matches like that and to play well out there, in my opinion and it’s only my opinion.’

Asked whether he feels like he belongs among the sport’s elite, Carter replied: ‘I would say so. Wouldn’t you? Of course!

‘I’ve beaten Mark Williams, one of the greatest players of all time, and Judd Trump one of the greatest players of all time. I’m not getting ahead of myself but I’m gagging to win this tournament.’

Most to ever pick up a cue would already swap their CV with Carter’s, but he admits that finishing his career without one of the three biggest titles to his name would play on his mind.

‘Would it bother me? I’d always feel a bit aggrieved and a bit gutted,’ he said. ‘But these aren’t given to you, you have to work for them and I haven’t quite done what I need to do to win one yet.

MrQ Masters Snooker 2024 - Day Two

Carter is enjoying his current fine form (Picture: Getty Images)

‘I’m trying to put that right but everyone’s desperate to win these events. To be here in the semi-finals, I’m still punching.’

Carter has already spoken during this tournament of his mindset change over the last 18 months, acting more professionally and thinking more positively.

He is taking inspiration from other players, notably Gary Wilson after his recent Scottish Open win, and believes success will come if he stays on this path.

‘It’s a funny old game, you never know, you just never know,’ Carter told Eurosport. ‘Look at Gary Wilson, he’s had a terrible season, all of a sudden he’s won one. He’d have been going there just trying to win his first match, all of a sudden he’s won a week later.

‘You’ve just got to keep doing the right things, keep trying to reinvent yourself, keep enthusiastic, keep putting the work in. If you’re good enough, sooner or later you’re putting the balance of probabilities in your favour.’

MORE : Ronnie O’Sullivan blasts ‘disgusting’ Alexandra Palace: ‘I can’t wait to get out of here’

MORE : Shaun Murphy sends message to Ronnie O’Sullivan after setting up Masters semi-final

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