World Snooker: Carter contests Robertson in thrilling Crucible clash
The second round of the World Championship in Sheffield continues, as Ali Carter prepares to square off with Neil Robertson in a repeat of their 2010 semi-final encounter, when the Australian went on to lift his maiden Crucible crown.
World number three Robertson has defeated ‘the Captain’ in their previous five meetings since 2013 and, also overcome the Essex-born potter 13-8 in the 2009 World Championship last 16 stage, in what has been a fierce long-standing rivalry.
Two-time Crucible runner-up Carter, 11/4 with Coral to win, would have already secured a double of world titles if not for fellow Essex cueist Ronnie O’Sullivan, who he was twice beaten by in the final at Sheffield’s prestigious arena.
The 35-year-old ‘Captain’, who struck a magnificent maximum break on-route to the 2008 final defeat, has courageously overcome off-the-baize health troubles, but has returned to snooker’s greatest stage and is focusing on making his comeback a jubilant one.
“I am here to win it. I don’t care who I play,” said Carter. “I have good memories at the Crucible. The thing I have left is to win it.”
Prolific potter Carter, a three-time ranking event winner, was thankfully given the all-clear from lung cancer before the turn of the New Year and impressively dismantled experienced Scot Alan McManus 10-5 in his opening round matchup.
“I don’t feel like I played that great but I competed in all departments and played all right and there’s plenty left in the tank,” continued Carter.
“I won quite convincingly and considering I have not had many matches this season I am pleased with the way I held myself together.”
The world number 13, whose ranking was frozen during his successful battle with illness, was never in trouble against two-time Crucible semi-finalist McManus and showed signs of his brilliant best again on his 13th World Championship appearance.
However, astute attacking potter Robertson, 17-2 to repeat his 2009 Crucible winning margin (13-8), will provide a sterner test for the 2015 General Cup champion, and is a 12-1 chance to edge past Carter with a deciding frame victory.
‘The Thunder from Down Under’ holds a dominant record over his deadly opponent, winning 13 of their 20 meetings in competitive matches and is a massive odds-on 2/7 to win, having ruthlessly dispatched Welshman Jamie Jones 10-2 in his first round clash.
Watch Carter make a sensational 147 against Peter Ebdon in the 2008 World Championship, his first ever in competitive action.