World Seniors Championship - Live Stream

18+ | Geo restrictions may apply | Be Gamble Aware

Ronnie O’Sullivan seals eighth Masters title after comeback denies Ali Carter

Jonathan Davies in The Masters

Left arrow

Ronnie O’Sullivan v Ali Carter live stream | Masters 2024 Final preview

Right arrow

Ronnie O’Sullivan questions Ali Carter’s “bottle” in Masters final

Ronnie O’Sullivan poses with the Paul Hunter trophy (Photo by PA/Alamy)

Ronnie O’Sullivan produced an inspired turnaround to claim his eighth Masters title with a 10-7 victory over Ali Carter.

The Rocket, who had struggled with his game for large periods of the week at Alexandra Palace, recovered from 6-3 down, winning seven of the last eight frames to land the £250,000 top prize.

O’Sullivan, 48, also became the oldest ever Masters champion, 29 years after becoming the youngest with his maiden triumph following victory over John Higgins.

Extending his record Triple Crown tally to 23, the world number one is two-thirds of the way to winning all three majors in the same season, having already claimed the UK Championship crown last month.

“I don’t know how I’ve won this tournament to be honest,” admitted O’Sullivan. “I’ve just dug deep and tried to play with a bit of freedom.

“I just didn’t have the headspace all week to want to grind it out; I thought I’d just go hell for leather. I was just looking to get through the tournament as unscathed as possible. Each round I stayed in, I felt a little bit stronger and stronger.”

Appearing in his 14th Masters final, O’Sullivan controlled the opening frame with a run of 46 along the way as he sought his 18th win over Carter in 19 meetings.

This was the Captain’s second successive Masters showpiece. Runner-up to Stuart Bingham on his most recent appearance four years ago, he responded with 106, while runs of 43 and 24 edged his nose in front at 2-1.

The Rocket hit back with a wonderful 125 clearance but a missed long red after the mid-session interval was pounced on by Carter, who cleared with 122 to regain the advantage.

O’Sullivan threatened to clear from 40-1 down in frame six, but a missed green on 46 enabled his relieved opponent to move two frames clear.

Both players missed early chances in the seventh frame before the world number one made 86, but a run of 74 saw Carter restore his two-frame buffer at the end of the afternoon.

Seeking his first major title at the fourth attempt, he reigning German Masters champion built on that momentum at the start of the evening, contributions of 40 and 31 putting him 6-3 to the good.

But buoyed by the raucous Alexandra Palace crowd, O’Sullivan had breaks of 58, 64 and 53 as he won the next three frames to level at 6-6.

Carter stopped the rot after the interval with a superb break of 127 giving him a record-breaking ninth century of the week – the highest tally recorded by any player in a single edition of the Masters.

The Rocket levelled in a scrappy 14th frame and was in first with 45 in the 15th before missing a red to the right centre. Carter threatened to overturn the deficit, but overcut a thin pink to the left centre and his opponent cleared with 31 to lead for the first time since the opening frame.

It was one-way traffic thereon. A swift 89 put O’Sullivan on the brink of victory, which he secured in the next frame.

O’Sullivan added: “Tonight, I thought ‘just try and keep Ali honest and if he’s going to win it, he’s going to have to scrape me off the table’.

“Coming into the evening session, I thought ‘let’s just see if he can get over the line’. That was my whole mindset; I wasn’t even worried about frame scores.

“I love seeing it when players’ bottle goes. You can play terrible and still get them in that position. That was what was driving me on tonight – getting him to that point to say ‘come on, let’s see if you’ve got it’.

“[Stephen Hendry and John Higgins] had the ultimate bottle – winning from behind, winning in front. They could pot the big balls. You just knew they wouldn’t flinch.

“I’m not saying Ali did, but he let me off the hook tonight and gave me some breathing space. That gave me a little bit of confidence to keep chipping away and see where I got with it.”

Carter, who suffered his third defeat against the Rocket in a Triple Crown final, quipped: “He’s beginning to annoy me!

“It was a good week. Obviously, I’m gutted I lost the final. It’s all about winning at the end of the day.

“Before I rocked up here last week, I’d have taken [reaching] the final. There are a lot of good things to come for me; I’m heading in the right direction.

“When you play Ronnie, you’re playing the crowd as well. You’ve got to accept that. I tried my best and it just wasn’t good enough today.”