Match Report

2024 Masters: Ali Carter Depicts Final Defeat to O’Sullivan

In a riveting face-off at the 2024 MrQ Masters final, Ali Carter faced off against the legendary Ronnie O'Sullivan, ultimately succumbing to a 10-7 defeat. Despite the disappointment, Carter's performance throughout the tournament was nothing short of exceptional, marked by a record-breaking achievement. The captain gave his thoughts on the encounter post-match, as well as calling out the one-sided Alexandre Palace crowd.

Louis Hobbs
Louis Hobbs

Last Updated: 2024-01-15

Alex Matless

7 minutes read

Two snooker players with trophy

Carter's Journey to a Triple Crown Title Hits a Snag

In the 2024 MrQ Masters final at Alexandra Palace, Ali Carter appeared destined to claim his inaugural triple crown title, initially seizing a 5-3 lead after the first session and fortifying his position upon resumption. However, the tide shifted as Ronnie O'Sullivan mounted a comeback, levelling the score with three consecutive frame victories. 


Carter, undeterred, etched his name in history with a ninth-century break in the 13th frame, surpassing O'Sullivan's prior records. Nevertheless, Carter's fortunes dwindled in the final four frames, scoring a mere 51 points. Exploiting every opportunity, O'Sullivan secured back-to-back triple crown victories, adding the Masters to his UK Championship triumph in December.



The Crowd's Influence: A Contributing Factor to Carter's Setback

The 44-year-old, reflecting on the match, openly aired his frustrations, pointing to the interference from the crowd as a significant source of discontent. Expressing his exasperation, Carter bluntly stated, "There's just some morons in the crowd." 


He underscored the challenge of facing an already formidable opponent in Ronnie O'Sullivan, emphasising that attempting to win the crowd around in such a matchup is ordinarily a demanding task. However, Carter highlighted that the crowd's antics during this particular match reached an extraordinary level.


“It is hard enough to beat him, but when you've got people shouting when you're on your shot and just saying stupid things at important times... it's ridiculous”, he commented. 


Navigating the pressure of competing against a skilled adversary like O'Sullivan is challenging in itself, but Carter's remarks suggested that the unusual behaviour from the audience added an unprecedented layer of difficulty. The distractions, including people shouting during crucial shots and making untimely remarks, were deemed by Carter as not only disruptive but downright ridiculous. In a sport where concentration is paramount, such external disruptions can significantly impact a player's performance. Carter's candid commentary shed light on the exceptional nature of the crowd's antics, elevating the adversity he faced beyond the norm in his quest for victory against O'Sullivan.

Record-Breaking Brilliance

Acknowledging O'Sullivan's skill, Carter added, "He played well, which is what he does." Carter praised his own performance, highlighting the moments he excelled in the match, particularly when he took the lead at 7-6 with a notable break. However, O'Sullivan responded, showcasing the resilience that has become synonymous with his name in the world of snooker.


Despite the defeat, Carter highlighted the positive aspects of his week-long journey, noting, "Plenty of centuries. A hundred grand in the bank isn’t bad, is it?" Carter set a new record for the most centuries hit in a single Masters tournament, totalling an impressive nine centuries across the week.

The Mid-Session Interval

Remaining unperturbed by the extended mid-session interval, Carter affirmed, "No, it is good. I went over quick, and probably helped me to mentally prepare for the evening." 


In a pragmatic acknowledgment of the dynamics of snooker, he asserted, "Believe me, I don't want to be playing 45-minute frames. No one wants to see that either." Carter, known for his focused and composed approach, welcomed the break, considering it preferable to enduring a prolonged initial eight frames followed by a mere hour break. 


Reflecting on the experience, he noted, "It's better than having a long drawn out first eight frames, then only having an hour and you've got to get something to eat and change your shirt and all the rest of it." Carter's ability to adapt and maintain a positive mindset, even in the face of difficult scheduling, highlighted his resilience and flexibility as a seasoned snooker professional. In the end, he regarded the unique experience as merely a part of the game, demonstrating his pragmatic and composed perspective amid challenging circumstances.

Extended Rivalry with The Rocket

In the aftermath of the intense showdown against O'Sullivan, the Essex-born player maintained a stoic stance when questioned about any post-match exchange, asserting, "No, I've got no words for him at all." This succinct response underscored the enduring and competitive nature of the long-term rivalry between Carter and O'Sullivan. The two players have clashed numerous times on the snooker stage, with each encounter adding another chapter to their storied history. Despite the intense competition and the highs and lows of their matches, Carter's reticence suggested a depth of emotion, perhaps shaped by the complexities of a rivalry that extends beyond the green baize.



What’s Next: The World Grand Prix

Looking ahead, Carter expressed optimism about future opportunities, stating, "I'm going to keep punching and come back and try again." He acknowledged the tough schedule, hinting at his plans for a brief break before heading to the World Grand Prix on Tuesday.


While the Masters final ended in disappointment for Ali Carter, his remarkable performance, record-breaking achievements, and resilient spirit underscore his status as a formidable force in the world of snooker. As he looks ahead to future opportunities, fans can expect Carter to continue making headlines with his skill and determination on the green baize.


Image credit: World Snooker Tour (WST)

Louis Hobbs
Louis HobbsLead Journalist

Meet Louis Hobbs, our esteemed authority on all matters sports-related. With a wealth of knowledge and experience, Louis effortlessly emerges as our go-to expert. His particular expertise in the realms of darts and snooker sets him apart and brings a level of insight that goes beyond the ordinary. Louis also holds a deep affection for all things related to US sports, with a special emphasis on basketball and American football, which stand out as his particular favorites. His content may not resonate with you, if you don't consider Lamar Jackson the most skilled player in the NFL.