GERMAN Masters champion Ali Carter has failed to qualify for next week’s Welsh Open after suffering a shock defeat to Northern Ireland’s Gerard Greene.
Carter, who just six days ago beat Marco Fu in Berlin to clinch his third career ranking title, will not play at the Newport Centre after the 4-2 defeat against the world number 54 – undoubtedly one of the most surprising results of the season.
Things looked routine when Carter won the opening frame but Greene turned the match on its head as breaks of 57 and 101 put him 2-1 ahead.
Greene then put himself on the verge of a fantastic win when he stretched his lead to 3-1 winning a low scoring fourth frame.
Backs to the wall, Carter hit back with a break of 99 to reduce his deficit to 3-2. But Greene, whose last appearance in a major ranking event dates back to the China Open in 2011, kept his composure to clinch a memorable victory.
Carter’s defeat means he misses out playing in the tournament he won back in 2009 when he beat Joe Swail in the final.
The shock result may add even more criticism to the tournament’s best-of-seven format up to the last 16 stage. The last few days has seen snooker fans and writers on Twitter and other websites call for the matches to be longer.
Surprise results like this maybe the start of things to come in the game with the tournament adopting the new flat structure format meaning the sport’s top players have to qualify to reach top ranking events.
And that was not the only drama this morning at the World Snooker Academy in Sheffield as world number three Neil Robertson had to come back from behind and then win a deciding frame to knock out young amateur Duane Jones.
Jones took a 2-1 lead before the Australian hit back to go 3-2 ahead. But the Welshman showed true grit to win the sixth frame and take the 2010 world champion to a one frame shoot out.
Robertson had an opening 41-0 lead before a miscue from the Australian gifted Jones a real chance of victory. But a missed black off its spot after the opening red cost the youngster to miss out on a sensational win.
Elsewhere, this season’s Wuxi Classic winner Ricky Walden fought off a comeback from Martin O’Donnell to qualify for the tournament with a 4-2 win. Premier League champion Stuart Bingham is also through after beating Matthew Selt by the same scoreline.
Craig Steadman reached his second major ranking event after upsetting the odds to beat Scotland’s Jamie Burnett 4-1 and Leicester’s Tom Ford cruised into the tournament after a 4-0 win over Justin Astley.