Players Championship final
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Players Championship final: Shaun Murphy vs Ali Carter

The Players Championship final on Sunday will be between in-form English duo Shaun Murphy and Ali Carter at the Alderlsey Arena.

The latter emerged from a tough semi-final battle with Joe O’Connor on Friday evening, winning the last four frames in a 6-4 success.

A day later, Murphy added another brace of tons to his tally this week during his 6-3 defeat of Kyren Wilson.

Both Murphy and Carter have been enjoying a resurgent month of February, regularly featuring at the business end of events.

The Captain emerged from a weakened field at the Tempodrom to capture the German Masters crown, while Murphy was a beaten finalist in last week’s Welsh Open.

The Magician will have a second stab at winning what would be a tenth ranking title of his career and a first since 2020.

Carter, meanwhile, is on course to secure a sixth piece of silverware at this level and a triumph would represent the first time in his career that he’d win two in the same season.

Unsurprisingly given their longevity at the higher echelons of the sport, Murphy and Carter have faced each other on numerous occasions in the past.

Carter boasts the superior head-to-head record with 21 wins to Murphy’s 13, albeit it’s a closer 11-8 when Championship League fixtures are taken out of the equation.

Several of their most notable clashes have occurred in the major tournaments, including twice at the World Championship, three times in the Masters, and once at the UK Championship.

Their only prior title-deciding battle with ranking points on the line was in 2015 when Carter edged Murphy 4-3 to win that year’s Paul Hunter Classic.

There will be many who will expect this Players Championship final to be just as close.

In Carter’s favour is the fact that he has already guaranteed his spot in next month’s lucrative Tour Championship, and he has fond memories of his recent appearance in a final.

Murphy will be hoping he doesn’t disappoint like he did in the Welsh Open final a week ago.

There have been times over the course of the last fortnight that the 40 year-old has produced arguably the best snooker of his entire career.

It would be immensely frustrating for him if he were not to capitalise on that with a trophy, but given Carter’s pedigree for the big occasion it’s very possible.

Either way, it promises to be a compelling showdown between the two most consistent players on the main tour at present.

Featured photo credit: WST


  1. Cuetracker has forgotten a match in their head-to-head. Carter beat Murphy 7-6 in the 2014 General Cup final. This was a particularly emotional win for The Captain as he’d just recovered from cancer. So it’s 11-8 in matches over a serious distance.

    Carter has won both of their Crucible meetings, one by the scoreline of 13-4.

    Their 2012 UK semi was a classic. Murphy coming from 8-4 down to win 9-8.

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