CAPTAIN NEGOTIATES THE THUNDER
Ali Carter came through a high quality encounter with Neil Robertson 5-3 to reach the last four of the Ladbrokes Players Championship in Llandudno.
The Captain endured a four-year losing streak against the Australian, who had come out on top of their previous six meetings. Robertson, who didn't enter the upcoming China Open, will now have a month off as he prepares for the World Championship in Sheffield. The match got off to an intriguing start. Carter was first in with a break of 63, which left his opponent requiring a snooker. Robertson got one and forced a respotted black, which he won to take to the front. It could have been a bitter blow for the World Open Champion Carter. However, he steeled himself and won the second frame with a break of 94. He then controlled a tight third frame, before Robertson restored parity at the interval with the score at 2-2. Runs of 43 and 57 allowed 2010 World Champion Robertson to move ahead, but it was from there that the Captain made a decisive move. He compiled breaks of 42, 49 and 84 on his way to claiming three frames in a row and booking a semi-final clash with Judd Trump. Carter remarked: ''Neil's beat me the last few times we have played and I was determined to put in a good performance. It was great and I'm really pleased with myself. I played the right shots and attacked him when I could.''
''It will be a tough match against Judd. He's an awesome player, I've got every respect for him as he will for me, I'll let the snooker do the talking and may the best man win,'' said the four time ranking winner. ''I'm delighted to be involved and I'll keep punching away. It's more match practice with the end of the season getting closer. China is the next stop but if I could win this it would be a great boost for me.''