Marco Fu's Highlights vs Mark Selby | 5-2 QF Win | Hong Kong Masters 2022

Winning Return For Emotional Carter

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Ali Carter, playing in his first major tournament since getting the all-clear from cancer, scored a resounding 6-1 victory over Barry Hawkins at the Dafabet Masters.

Carter was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour on a lung last May and has since undergone months of treatment including three cycles of chemotherapy. Just before Christmas, the 35-year-old from Chelmsford was given the all-clear by doctors, and now the three-time ranking event winner hopes he can focus fully on his snooker career.

Carter, who has also battled testicular cancer and Crohn’s disease in recent years, was given a standing ovation by the Alexandra Palace crowd as he entered the arena tonight. And he rose to the occasion with a fine performance against world number five Hawkins to reach the quarter-finals of the Masters for only the second time in nine attempts. He faces Neil Robertson next.

Two-time Crucible finalist Carter returned to competitive snooker in November and lost his opening match in the Champion of Champions, UK Championship and German Masters qualifiers, so tonight’s victory was a welcome return to winning ways. His seeding position has been frozen at 13 for the rest of the season, but he has plenty of ground to make up in the world rankings if he is to start the 2015/16 campaign among the top 16.

He made a strong start tonight with breaks of 95 and 50 to go 2-0 up. Hawkins pulled one back, but Carter crucially nicked the fourth frame by potting the final pink and doubling the black. He added the next in two scoring visits to lead 4-1, then made a superb 130 to extend his advantage. And errors from an out-of-sorts Hawkins in frame seven allowed Carter to complete the rout.

“The reception I got was awesome,” said Carter. “It was as if the crowd had been with me the whole time and been through the dark days with me. To be out there in the arena reminded me that I am one of the best players in the world. I’ve been to hell and back over the past 18 months but I hope tonight I’ve turned the corner. It’s hasn’t been pleasant, but I’ve got through it.

“If it wasn’t for all the things that have happened to me over the years, I probably would have been a lot more successful. When I played at the UK Championship I still had cancer hanging over my head and I probably wasn’t quite ready to come back. But now all that’s behind me I can focus on getting my career back. Tonight I really wanted to give a good account of myself. To go 3-1 when I doubled the black was the turning point and after that I didn’t give him a look in. This hasn’t been a good event for me over the years so it would be nice to put that right.”d event for me over the years so it would be nice to put that right.”