Clash of Titans: O’Sullivan vs. Carter Anticipated in Shanghai Masters

Next month, a showdown might be in the cards between Essex rivals Ronnie O’Sullivan and Ali Carter at the upcoming Shanghai Masters. The draw details for the exclusive 24-player invitational tournament were unveiled on Friday.

The defending champion, O’Sullivan, who clinched the prestigious title in 2017 and 2018 as well, is poised to kickstart his campaign in the round of 16. His opponent would be none other than Ali Carter, the 2010 Shanghai victor. This, of course, assumes that Carter successfully navigates his opening match against a wildcard entrant hailing from the German Masters.

The tournament format includes the top eight players from the world rankings being automatically seeded into the second round. The remaining eight players will contend with the four highest-ranked Chinese players and an additional quartet of wildcards. These wildcards are determined through the CBSA Under-21 event, which concludes a week prior to the tournament.

In a memorable clash, Carter secured a 13-9 victory against the seven-time world champion O’Sullivan during the Crucible second round in 2018. This match was marred by intense emotions, with both players physically colliding in the final session, teetering on the edge of boiling tempers at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.

Notably, this remains Carter’s sole triumph over O’Sullivan at the World Championship. O’Sullivan, a six-time champion, had emerged victorious in the finals of 2008 (18-8) and 2012 (18-11), as well as a 13-8 win in the last 16 during 2013.

Meanwhile, Ding Junhui, the winner of the 2013 and 2016 editions, is slated to face Si Jiahui, a recent World Championship semi-finalist, in the tournament’s opening round. Additionally, Jack Lisowski is aware that a victory over Zhou Yuelong in his first-round match would secure him a last-16 encounter with his close friend Judd Trump.

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