Congratulations Stuart Bingham!
Stuart Bingham, 25 years a pro, beat Ali Carter by 10-8 yesterday evening to become the oldest Masters Champion in snooker history. He was very emotional during the Trophy ceremony and later in the studio.
Here are the reports by World Snooker Tour:
Stuart Bingham will carry a 5-3 lead over Ali Carter into this evening’s final session of the Dafabet Masters at Alexandra Palace.
Regardless of the result there will be a new name on the Paul Hunter Trophy at the close of play, with both players making their first appearance in the final of this event.
There are a potential 11 frames remaining this evening, with the first to ten picking up the £250,000 top prize.
Carter is seeking a maiden Triple Crown title, having been World Championship runner-up to Ronnie O’Sullivan in 2008 and 2012. Victory for Bingham would be a second in snooker’s big three events, after his stunning World Championship win in 2015.
Carter, nicknamed the Captain, got off to a flying start this afternoon. He fired in a break of 126 to take the opening frame
Bingham immediately responded with a contribution of 75 to restore parity. They then traded frames to head into the mid-session locked together at 2-2.
When they returned, four-time ranking event winner Carter made a break of 93 to edge in front at 3-2.
Carter gained an opportunity to double his advantage when he came from snookers required to have a chance on the colours in the sixth frame. However, he missed the brown, allowing Bingham to eventually win on the black to make it 3-3.
Bingham then stepped up to claim the final two frames of the afternoon to secure his 5-3 lead. They will return to play the match to its conclusion at 7pm.
Stuart Bingham defeated Ali Carter 10-8 in a thrilling contest to lift his maiden Dafabet Masters title at Alexandra Palace in London.
Basildon’s 43-year-old Bingham is now the oldest ever winner of the Masters, taking the record from Ray Reardon, who was just under five months younger when he won the title in 1976.
Victory sees Bingham lift Triple Crown silverware for the second time in his career, following his stunning victory at the 2015 World Championship. He picks up the top prize of £250,000, the richest in the event’s history.
It’s the third year in a row that a new name has been added to the Paul Hunter Trophy, with Mark Allen claiming the title in 2018 and Judd Trump securing his maiden title 12 months ago.
Carter was competing in his first Masters final and third Triple Crown title match. He was a late entrant to the event after world number three Ronnie O’Sullivan pulled out. Carter was runner-up to O’Sullivan at the World Championship in 2008 and 2012. The 40-year-old leaves Alexandra Palace with the consolation of this week’s second prize of £100,000.
In a match which went back and forth, Bingham produced his nerveless best to charge the title down in the closing stretch. He came into tonight 5-3 ahead after this afternoon’s opening session.
However, it was Carter who came charging out of the traps this evening, claiming the first two frames to draw level. He then fired in breaks of 95 and 133 to complete a clean sweep of frames prior to the mid-session and lead 7-5.
The interval came at the right time for Bingham, who looked like a different player when they returned. Breaks of 64, 85, 58 and 88 saw him relentlessly string together four frames in a row and move to the verge of victory at 9-7.
Carter showed his resilience to respond with a run of 77 and close within a frame. However, Bingham wasn’t to be denied his moment. The six-time ranking event winner composed in a supreme run of 109, his first century of the event, to secure Masters glory.
“To get my hands on that trophy, finally, means everything,” said Bingham. “I was getting ready for the loser’s speech at the interval. Ali played brilliantly and it would have been fitting him getting his hands on the Paul Hunter Trophy. I had a coffee and a Mars bar and it seemed to calm me down. Ali missed a couple and I went from strength to strength.
“I just think I have been so tired from the last couple of days, it all came out. Especially at 7-5 down and the way I was thinking. How I put those five frames together to get over the line, I have no idea. I suppose champions are champions for a reason.
“I’ve always played with a smile on my face and enjoyed it all. The atmosphere is similar to the Shoot Out, in that if you can get the crowd involved then it is like having a couple of extra points. Sometimes it felt like an exhibition getting the crowd involved. It was a bit like Bubba Watson trying to get them cheering on the shot.”
Carter said: “You have to say it wasn’t meant to be. I hit him with everything to go 7-5 in front. The interval came at the wrong time for me. I missed a pink with the rest and I never really got another shot.
“I wasn’t even supposed to be in this event. I’ve picked up £100,000 and it pays the school fees! I am gutted I’ve lost, it is all about winning. You guys aren’t interested in talking to me really, it is all about Stuart.
“It has renewed my belief. I am working with Chris Henry as my coach now. That has made a massive difference and hopefully there are a lot of good times to come.”
Here is the last frame and the emotional trophy ceremony
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