Snooker News

German Masters Final: Ali Carter vs Anthony Hamilton

Ali Carter and Anthony Hamilton will entertain a packed Tempodrom auditorium in search of the 2017 German Masters title on Sunday.

Hamilton lost in the 1999 British Open and 2002 China Open finals. Photo credit: World Snooker

The pair emerged from contrasting semi-finals to book their rightful places in the final, where a ranking event trophy and €80,000 are up for grabs.

For Carter, it would represent a second ranking event victory of the campaign and a fifth in total as he continues his remarkable recovery from recent illnesses which threatened to derail his career and life.

Hamilton, meanwhile, could become the latest in a string of romantic success stories as he bids for a maiden triumph in an event of this status at the age of 45.

The debate surrounding which player boasts the unwanted tag of being the best to have never claimed a ranking event title has inevitably produced an array of top cueists, with Hamilton being many people’s favourites at the top of the list.

Joe Perry broke his duck a couple of years ago when he captured the Players Championship and Mark King emotionally prevailed in the Northern Ireland Open just last November.

When Hamilton had agonisingly lost to Barry Hawkins in the semi-finals in Belfast, when he feathered the white in the deciding frame as he looked on course for victory, it appeared as though the “Sheriff” had been gunned down for a final time.

But the Englishman’s remarkable resurgence over the last twelve months has continued apace, and he finally has a third crack at raising that elusive silverware – a mere 15 years after his previous attempt.

This time last year Hamilton had fallen outside of the top 64 in the world rankings and, only for a late rally which saw him break into the top eight money-earners who had not already earned their future tour cards, his career might have come to a disappointing end.

Fast forward a year and Hamilton, who began the season from scratch with zero money on his ranking tally, is set to break back inside the top 64 in the standings and, in fact, is in the top 20 money-earners for the campaign up until this point.

Glory for the Nottingham potter would be a popular one, but Carter may well be writing the latest chapter in his fairy tale story.

The ‘Captain’ could become the first competitor to win the German Masters twice, having previously tasted success in Berlin back in 2013 – when, funnily enough, he beat Hamilton in the last 16.

By contrast to Hamilton who has dispatched of five top 20 players en route to his final appearance, Carter has taken full advantage of arguably a more straightforward passage to Sunday’s showdown.

Martin Gould may have been the top seed as the defending champion but, at no.19, was the highest ranked obstacle that Carter was forced to overcome.

In the final, the twice World Championship runner-up will certainly begin as the favourite with his form this week, and a temperament far removed from his usual mercurial mood around the baize, testament to this.

Hamilton and Carter’s head-to-head record perhaps unsurprisingly favours the latter, with all four prior encounters in ranking events going the way of the Essex man.

His experience in recent major finals may also give him the edge, but Hamilton will be giving it everything in what might well be his last chance of fulfilling an almost three-decade potential.

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