ALI CARTER marked his return to snooker by clinching his place in next month’s Shanghai Masters – just weeks after undergoing surgery for testicular cancer.
The Captain, who received the all-clear last month after being diagnosed with the illness, beat Adam Duffy 5-4 in a hard-fought encounter to secure his place in the last 32 of snooker’s next major ranking event.
But a player who will not be playing in Shanghai is two-times world champion Mark Williams who failed to qualify this evening, falling to a 5-4 defeat to David Gilbert.
The result was something of a surprise given Williams’ recent victory in the Rotterdam Open. But victory there could not see him move back into the top 16 and therefore had to qualify for the Shanghai Masters.
Snooker legends Steve Davis and Jimmy Whiter were unable to get the win they needed to qualify. Six-times world champion Davis let a two-frame lead slip in a 5-2 defeat to Andrew Higginson and White suffered a 5-1 loss to Ryan Day.
Today (Saturday) proved a special day in the memory for 21-year-old Kyren Wilson who reached his first major ranking event after clinching a 5-3 win over Scotland’s Marcus Campbell.
The win completed a great few days for Wilson who also beat James Wattana and Barry Pinches in previous qualification rounds.
There was also joy for Yorkshire’s David Grace who qualified for a major ranking for the first time after beating Tom Ford 5-2.
Joe Perry’s fine start to the season continued as he booked his ticket to Shanghai with a 5-3 win over Robbie Williams and Martin Gould thrashed Wuxi Classic quarter-finalist David Morris 5-0.
China’s Yu Delu and Xiao Guodong ensured they would be playing a part at their home event after they gained wins against former world champions Ken Doherty and Peter Ebdon respectively. Fellow Chinese star Cao Yupeng also made it through after beating Ben Woollaston.
Mike Dunn and Peter Lines also recorded wins as well as Michael Holt who came through a deciding frame to end Rory McLeod’s hopes of qualifying.
And Mark Joyce was the last man to make it through after he defeated Fergal O’Brien 5-4 in a match which finished just after midninght.