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Carter storms into World Grand Prix final

Ali Carter has stormed into the final of the World Grand Prix after thrashing Xiao Guodong 6-0 in the semi-finals on Friday.

It is the first time since the 2017 German Masters that the Captain has made it through to the final of a ranking event, but he showed no nerves as he recorded breaks of 54, 99, 71 and 126 to open up a 4-0 lead heading into the mid-session interval.

World number 24 Xiao looked like immediately pulling a frame back when play resumed, but the Chinese star saw his cue ball trickle into the pocket after he potted what had looked a decisive black.

That brought the scores level at 59-59 and Carter quickly dispatched the re-spotted black to eventually clinch the frame before wrapping up the match with a rather more routine success in the sixth frame.

The 39-year-old certainly appeared relieved to have made it through to what will be the ninth ranking final of his career, although he admits he never felt comfortable despite his commanding lead.

“I’ve played the game too long to take liberties when I am in front,” Carter told World Snooker.

“I have a lot of battle scars really. That is why sometimes it can be harder to get over the winning line.

“I am delighted to win today because that was a big match for me. It has been a while since I’ve been competing at the top level.

“It would be a little bit surreal to win on Sunday. I am in the final now. I have so much going on behind the scenes at the minute. To be in the final I feel a bit punch drunk. I will look forward to it.”

Carter will face either Judd Trump or Barry Hawkins in Sunday’s final, with those two players set to face off in the second semi-final on Saturday.

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