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Page last updated at 21:14 GMT, Sunday, 22 February 2009

Carter storms to Welsh Open title

Ali Carter

Carter seals first ranking title win (UK users only)

Ali Carter produced a blistering evening session to capture his first ranking title with a 9-5 victory over Joe Swail in the Welsh Open final.

Last year's World Championship runner-up had found himself 5-2 down but he never looked back after winning the final frame of the afternoon session.

He then rattled off six frames in the evening, with breaks of 116, 109 and 91, to seal a comfortable win.

"To win my first ranking event is a massive achievement for me," he said.

"Joe made it really difficult in the first session, I was pleased to come out and play well in the second session.

He could not have dreamed of playing so well

Carter's coach Terry Griffiths

"At 5-2 down I just wanted to get out of the session and come back tonight. I've been playing well for a while, it was just a mater of staying patient.

"It's hard to be a winner and it's nice to achieve my dream of winning my first title.

"They say once you get the first one there are many more to come and I hope there are."

Carter refused to elaborate on how he and coach Terry Griffiths managed to force the turnaround in fortunes during the break between session.

"They are trade secrets really," added the world number seven. "We just regrouped and tried to get my head in the right frame of mind.

"Terry has been great and has helped me all the way through. I am so pleased to be a champion and give him some of the reward as well."

And Griffiths paid tribute to his pupil, saying: "He could not have dreamed of playing so well."

The opening match was littered with errors and Carter went 2-1 up with a 41 clearance after Swail missed a simple pink.

However, Northern Ireland's Swail levelled the match with a break of 60.


He then won three more scrappy frames before Carter, who lost to Ronnie O'Sullivan in the Crucible final last year, knocked in a break of 54 to reduce the gap to 5-3.

In the evening session, Carter was a different player with Swail forced to watch on as a helpless bystander.

Swail only managed to score one point in the opening three frames as Carter took charge.

Carter started off with a 116 after Swail had gone in-off after fluking a red into the middle pocket and further runs of 109, 61, 91 and 67 put him on the brink of victory.

Swail was offered a lifeline when his opponent received a kick as he was amongst the balls but he could not take advantage.

Carter sank a long red to start him off and a 39 clearance was enough to seal the landmark win.

Swail, who was appearing in the first ranking final of his 18-year career, paid tribute to Carter afterwards.

"I was 5-2 up but let it go a wee bit," said the world number 20. "But fair play to Ali, he played brilliantly tonight and there was not a lot I could do.

"It's a nice feeling to actually get to a final but it's disappointing and frustrating to go all the way and lose."

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O'Sullivan defeats legend Davis
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Hendry crashes out of Welsh Open
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Williams suffers Welsh Open exit
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Day aims for Welsh Open success
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Welsh Open live scores
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Welsh Open draw
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Welsh Open: Previous winners
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White & Davis in Welsh Open bid
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O'Sullivan to play Selby in final
17 Jan 09 |  Snooker
Snooker on the BBC
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