Ali Carter came through a tight encounter with China’s Lei Peifan 3-2 to book a blockbuster second round meeting with World Champion Mark Selby at the matchroom.live British Open in Leicester.
World number 23 Carter has beaten Selby in their previous two meetings at the Masters and the Championship League. However, there will be a strong home backing for Leicester’s 20-time ranking event winner Selby tomorrow night.
Carter, a winner of four ranking titles, is aiming to claim his first silverware for five years. His most recent victory came at the 2016 World Open. In stark contrast, Selby picked up his fourth Crucible title by beating Shaun Murphy 18-15 in the World Championship final back in May.
It was Chinese 18-year-old Lei who took the opener this afternoon, composing breaks of 47 and 37 to move 1-0 ahead.
Carter then turned the match on its head. The Captain fired in runs of 51 and 63 to establish a 2-1 lead and move a frame from victory. Lei restored parity, but it was Carter who took the decider to wrap up the win.
Carter said: “It’s a dream draw for me really. I’ve got nothing to lose. I’m having a crack at the current World Champion. Not many people will think I have a chance to win, but one of the few people that thinks I can is me. I’ll turn up ten minutes before the match and have a go.
“The best of fives definitely do suit me. They are very cutthroat. Every frame is like a decider. You need to treat it that way and get the intensity level up. You also need to forgive yourself if you miss a ball, because we are all under a lot of pressure out there.”
Germany’s Lukas Kleckers scored an impressive 3-2 defeat of Masters champion Yan Bingtao. He had trailed 2-1, but a break of 61 forced a decider which he won to get over the line.
Belgium’s Luca Brecel defeated Barry Hawkins 3-2, while 2015 World Champion Stuart Bingham beat Robert Milkins 3-1 to set up a second round clash with world number one Judd Trump.