Captain Carter Captures German Masters Crown

Little over a year ago, due to his ongoing battle with Crohn’s disease and the subsequent impact upon his game, Ali Carter had threatened to quit snooker, but tonight he underlined his return to form by defeating Marco Fu 9-6 to win the 2013 German Masters title in Berlin…

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Having won a protracted opening frame, lasting some 55 minutes this afternoon, Marco Fu would go on to secure a 5-3 lead against Ali Carter at the end of the first session, a break of 104 (which could well have been a maximum), immediately prior to the mid-session interval proving the highlight.

On their resumption this evening however, it was Carter who raced out of the blocks, flawless breaks of 116 and 121 quickly drawing him level, before he shut Fu out in the next to lead for the first time at 6-5.

Though Marco was able to stop the rot by taking a bitty 12th frame to level at 6-6 at the interval, a pot success percentage of 85%, compared to 91% of his opponent, pointing to the fact that it was Ali who had the momentum, and the Captain soon added the next three frames, to secure a 9-6 victory.

Having struggled with both his health and form, at one point dropping out of the world’s top 16, this victory will surely mean an awful lot to Ali and is a well-deserved reward for all of the hard work that he has put in. He might not have been at his fluent best this week (his first century break of the tournament coming during this final), but his battling qualities were there for all to see, indeed right from his first match this week where having had difficulties even getting his cue to the venue, he came back from 3-1 down to defeat amateur player Fraser Patrick.

For Marco Fu meanwhile, though he was very much second best this evening, he has had another very good week this season, as he continues his rise back up the rankings, having at one point flirted with losing his top 32 position. Surely he will be fighting for a return to the top 16 very soon.

Overall then, another excellent tournament, with typically enthusiastic crowds in Berlin as during 2011 and 2012. I do have my reservations as to the five-day format, which to me leaves the early rounds of the event feeling somewhat rushed, though I do understand that there are commercial reasons for that and of course five days is better than nothing. Hopefully though one day, the German snooker fans can be rewarded with a real major tournament, in the mould of the International Championship event in China. Time will tell.

Next up, another couple of groups of the Championship League, as well as the Welsh Open qualifiers, the latter starting on Wednesday…