Saturday 23 June 2018

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Ali Carter blasts quality of table after World Championship exit to Alan McManus

Ali Carter during his match against Alan McManus during day eight of the Betfred Snooker World Championships at the Crucible
Ali Carter during his match against Alan McManus during day eight of the Betfred Snooker World Championships at the Crucible

Mark Staniforth

Furious Ali Carter hit out at what he called the worst conditions of his career after crashing out of the World Snooker Championship in the second round on Saturday.

Carter let slip a 9-7 overnight lead to go down 13-11 to veteran Alan McManus in a match marred by what both players believed were inconsistencies in the table performance.

Carter, a two-time Crucible runner-up, said: "The conditions were absolutely horrific - there were kicks every other shot and big bounces.

"I don't think I've played on a table that bad in my career. It's the same for both players but it's how it affects you mentally."

The 36-year-old lost the first four frames of the morning session to hand the initiative to McManus, and admitted he had to be calmed down by friend and fellow professional Peter Ebdon during the interval.

"Everything that could go wrong did go wrong and I was powerless to stop it. I said to Peter during the interval that I just wanted to smash the whole place up and go home - that's how frustrated I was."

McManus accepted his opponent had a point after holding his nerve to clinch a quarter-final place for the second time in three years at the age of 45.

McManus said: "I could sense (Carter's frustration) and I could understand why, with the conditions being quite trying out there on our table.

"It can spoil your game totally so I thought right, just tough it out here - I'm going to get some dodgy bounces but try to get some chances and keep the white from not using too many cushions - that's kind of crazy but I was thinking that.

"I think the frustrating thing is you put in quite a lot of work to come here, then when you come a lot of the good stuff you've been working on is undone at times through no fault of your own."

In the last eight McManus will face either John Higgins or Ricky Walden, who begin their second round match on Saturday evening.

On the other table, Sam Baird continued to acquit himself well on his second visit to the Crucible, but saw Mark Selby pull away into a 9-7 lead.

Having beaten Michael White in the first round and shared the opening session 4-4 against the world number one, the Devonian won Saturday's first frame before being pegged back.

Selby took a 9-6 lead before Baird won an important last frame to keep the match alive going into the evening's deciding session.

Press Association

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