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Ronnie O’Sullivan crushes Ali Carter to cruise into Tour Championship semi-finals

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O’Sullivan got the better of his rival once again in Manchester

Ronnie O’Sullivan cruised through to the Tour Championship semi-finals after a crushing 10-2 defeat of rival Ali Carter on Wednesday.

The Rocket – sporting a mustard-coloured shirt – hit nine breaks over 50 at a packed Manchester Central to march into the last four of a ranking event for the 92nd time in his career.

O’Sullivan also maintained his dominant record over Carter, who he beat 10-7 in January’s Masters final, with a 19th victory in 20 meetings between the players.

The Captain battled past Barry Hawkins in the opening round on Tuesday, prevailing 10-8 despite having led 7-1 at one stage.

Carter had the first opportunity of the opening frame against his rival, with whom he was embroiled in a war of words following that Masters showpiece, but he missed a straightforward red to the left corner.

It proved costly as O’Sullivan punished him with 77, while further breaks of 87 and 54 helped him race into a 4-0 lead.

The Rocket then overturned a 26-point deficit in frame five with a 51 clearance, and continued the demolition job with additional runs of 81 and 92.

Carter stopped the rot at the conclusion of the afternoon session with a superb 141 total clearance – the highest break of the week so far – and opened the evening with 70 to cut the deficit to 7-2.

The world number nine then led 38-0 in frame 10, but any hopes of a miraculous comeback were ended as O’Sullivan cleared with 62, before contributions of 54 and 67 saw him over the line.

The seven-time World champion set up a semi-final showdown with either Zhang Anda or Gary Wilson, who are locked at 4-4 overnight.

Though he trailed 3-1 against the reigning Scottish and Welsh Open champion, International Championship winner Zhang won three of the last four frames with breaks of 93 and 74 to level heading into Thursday’s second session.

Meanwhile, Ding Junhui is 5-3 to the good against Mark Allen, with their clash also set to conclude tomorrow.

Despite opening with 100, Allen lost four of the next five frames with Ding hitting breaks of 70 and 51 along the way.

The Pistol responded with a swift run of 90 and looked good to level overnight after recovering from 43-1 down to square the frame score. However, a missed blue off its spot enabled the Dragon to pull two clear once again.

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Tour Championship 2024 Day Three

Wednesday April 3

Ronnie O’Sullivan 10-2 Ali Carter
Zhang Anda 4-4 Gary Wilson
Ding Junhui 5-3 Mark Allen