Ali Carter battles past top seed Judd Trump to reach semi-finals in Telford

By Sports Desk February 21, 2024

Ali Carter held his nerve to beat top seed Judd Trump 6-4 and book his place in the Players Championship semi-finals in Telford.

Trump went close to levelling the match at 5-5, but a potential frame-winning break ended with just the colours remaining and after 11 minutes of cat and mouse, Carter sank the yellow and closed out the match.

The world number eight will now face Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen or Gary Wilson, who won the BetVictor Welsh Open on Sunday, for a place in the final.

Trump made a break of 115 to level the match at 3-3, but Carter moved 5-3 up thanks to a score of 82 in the eighth frame. Although Trump responded with his fifth half-century to make it 5-4, it was not enough.

Earlier on Wednesday, Mark Selby reeled off four frames in succession to beat Barry Hawkins 6-3 and set up a quarter-final clash with Ronnie O’Sullivan.

Hawkins dominated the early stages of the match, easing into a 2-0 lead and edging back in front with a break of 91 in the fifth frame after Selby had fought back to level the scores at the mid-session interval.

However, Hawkins made an increasing number of mistakes as the match wore on and Selby took full advantage with breaks of 56, 66, 75 and 67 to advance.

“Barry was getting on top of me from the start, I started off slow and Barry’s had a good season so far,” four-time world champion Selby told ITV4.

“It was a tough game for me because you’re playing one of the top players on form and he’s also a good friend so it’s hard to try to overcome both of them.”

Looking ahead to Thursday’s quarter-final with O’Sullivan, Selby joked: “It gets easier next game doesn’t it?

“I cherish every game I play against Ronnie so I’m really looking forward to that. If I play like I did after the interval with that authority and that confidence, then I’ll go into the match with a chance.

“You know what you’re going to get with Ronnie, he very rarely plays to a bad level.

“It’s either very good or unplayable so it makes your job a lot easier going into the match because you know you have to turn up and, if you don’t, you’re going home.”

The quarter-final line-up was eventually completed when China’s Zhang Anda edged past Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham 6-5 in a contest lasting more than four and a half hours.

Zhang, who came from 5-4 behind and sealed victory with a break of 65 in the decider, will face John Higgins in the last eight.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.