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The Masters Snooker day eight preview: Ronnie O’Sullivan and Ali Carter face off

It’s the final day of Alexandra Palace action as Ronnie O’Sullivan and Ali Carter battle it out for the Masters trophy.

O’Sullivan has the chance to claim a record-extending eighth Masters title, with victory in the contest that gets underway at 13:00. 

The Rocket is 4/11 to add to land a second triple crown title of the season after lifting the UK Championship crown in December. 

Carter is the 11/5 underdog, but that won’t faze the Captain, who has the outsider for each of his three matches on the way to the final.

The Masters - Day 8

Ronnie O'Sullivan v Ali Carter

NameRonnie O’SullivanAli Carter
Age4844
Nationality EnglishEnglish
NicknameRocketCaptain 
World ranking 110
Masters appearances2813
Best performanceWinner (2017, 2016, 2014, 2009, 2007, 2005, 1995)Runner-up (2020)
Match odds4/1111/5

Rocket has a rich Masters history

O’Sullivan lifted his first Masters trophy back in 1995 at the tender age of just 19. The Rocket became, and still is, the youngest ever winner of the event when beating John Higgins 9-3 in the final. 

The tournament was then held at London’s Wembley Conference Centre and O’Sullivan had to wait 10 years before lifting the trophy again at the famous venue. 

Masters titles followed at Wembley Arena in 2007 and 2009, before the biggest invitational competition in snooker moved to Alexandra Palace in 2011. 

The Chigwell cueman lifted the Paul Hunter trophy in 2014, 2016 and 2017 and the seven-time champion is out on his own in terms of Masters titles won. 

O’Sullivan has a chance to land a record-extending Masters trophy and capture his first victory in the event for seven years. 

It would be a remarkable achievement, not just in terms of the number of titles, but the fact that O’Sullivan would be landing an eighth crown 29 years after the 48-year-old won his first Masters title.

Familiar foes ready to do battle

Carter and O'Sullivan have met 25 times in their careers, with O’Sullivan winning 22 of their previous meetings and the latest victory coming in this season’s International Championship. 

The Rocket has won six of the last seven matches between the pair, but perhaps the most famous meeting of the cuemen came in the 2018 World Championship. 

It was a memorable clash for Carter as the Captain won the second-round Crucible contest 13-9, but it was an ill-tempered meeting, that reached a peak when O’Sullivan and Carter collided as the side of the table as one man approached the baize and the other was on their way back to their seat. 

The Rocket branded his Essex foe “Mr Angry” after the defeat and it was an interesting turn of events for a pair of potters that had previously practiced together. 

There may not be fireworks off the table at Alexandra Palace in today’s two-session final, but there could well be explosive action on the baize.

Carter looking to cause one final upset

Carter has been the underdog in all of the three Masters matches he has contested on the way to the final and that hasn’t changed for the 11/5 chance in the final.  

The Captain upset Mark Williams in a 6-4 first-round victory, before defeating pre-tournament favourite Judd Trump in the quarter-finals. 

The betting expected Mark Allen to get the better of the Essex cueman in the semi-finals, but the 44-year-old outperformed his market expectations to defeat the Northern Irishman and book his place in today’s final. 

The Colchester Cueman will have to pull off one last upset, when he meets O’Sullivan in the Alexandra Palace playoff, but that’s nothing new to the Captain, who has already shown that he is well-adept at upsetting the odds.

Rocket blasts into final showdown

The Rocket blasted past Shaun Murphy in the semi-finals, beating the Magician 6-2 and making breaks of 72, 81, 84, 86 and 90. 

There were no eye-catching centuries for the 48-year-old, but there was plenty of one-visit frame-winning clearances and that will make O’Sullivan a strong final contender. 

The Chigwell cueman defeated Barry Hawkins 6-3 in the quarter-finals, Ding Junhui fell by the same scoreline in round one and O’Sullivan is 4/11 to land an eight Masters crown. 

Those that fancy the Rocket for a comfortable success can take 8/11 that O’Sullivan wins giving Carter a 2.5-frame start on the handicap and it’s 5/4 that the seven-time Masters champion makes three or more centuries in this best-of-19-frame showdown. 

This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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