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Ali Carter was applauded by the Wuhan Open crowd and Judd Trump during his defeat in the final on Sunday, in which his classy gesture saw him hand an advantage to Trump in China. Trump won back-to-back titles after also lifting the English Open the previous weekend. He claimed a 10-7 win over Carter after being given an unexpected opportunity in the fifth frame.
Trump raced into a 3-1 lead but Carter had a chance to reduce the deficit to one frame, playing a clever safety shot and should he have won that battle – the scattered reds ensured Carter had the opportunity to clean up and get back to winning ways.
But having played his shot, Carter then curiously pointed to a red behind the white ball before admitting to the unaware referee that he had fouled by touching the red with his cue. Carter gave up four points and an advantageous position even though the officials, commentators and even his opponent did not notice the call.
Fans applauded inside the arena at Carter’s selfless action, then Trump returned to the table and knocked the cushion twice – a universal move to show a player’s appreciation for their opponent. He had the initiative to go on and win the frame, with a clearance of 41 to extend his lead over Carter.
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Carter may have initially thought that his act of sportsmanship was returned with improved form, having won the next four frames to mark a stunning turnaround and lead 5-4. However, Trump was in his groove late on and won five of the final seven frames to clinch his second title in as many weeks.
Speaking after the match, Trump heaped praise on Carter by insisting that he made it a tough battle in China – even though the 44-year-old was not on top of his game and failed to earn the £140,000 cash prize.
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“It was a very tough final and Ali made it very difficult, even though he didn’t play his best,” Trump said. “I think we both struggled a bit. But towards the end, I just had a few good splits and scored heavier. That was the difference. On another day, it could’ve gone the other way.
“The crowd in here has been amazing. Thank you everyone for coming and supporting everyone. It’s the first time, but this is probably the best crowd I’ve played in front of in China.”
For Carter, a small consolation will be his act of sportsmanship at a time when he could have illegally gained an advantage over Trump – but the classy gesture will be remembered fondly.
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