Former champion Shaun Murphy insisted it simply wasn’t his day, after seeing his bid for a second Masters title come crashing down at the semi-final stage with 6-3 defeat to Ali Carter.
The 37-year-old had brushed aside reigning world champion Judd Trump and 2017 Masters runner-up Joe Perry en route to his last-four clash with world No.17 Carter, but found himself with a mountain to climb after two half-centuries handed his opponent an early 2-0 advantage.
Murphy rallied to notch two tons in the following three frames, but despite also displaying flashes of hope in the seventh was ultimately undone by Carter - whose victory earned him a first-ever final appearance at the tournament.
Following defeat, the Nottingham potter explained that overall he was happy with his performance at the second Triple Crown event of the season, and in the end the result came down to fine margins.
“I think it’s just the way it goes sometimes,” the 2005 world champion said. “I played quite well out there - I enjoyed the match, we had some really good battles and there was some really strong potting and break-building.
“There was a point where I felt the momentum was really swinging in my favour but I missed a crucial shot and then things seemed to turn.
“In the end I’ll look back at the couple of shots where I had him snookered and he managed to fluke the frame-ball. There’s nothing I can do about that and in the end I thought that was the difference.
“But he did well to stand up and take his chance because it’s not easy out there. To get the opportunity to make it to your first final here in front of a packed house can be daunting but he managed it well and I’m pleased for him.”
Carter has wowed all at Alexandra Palace on his charge towards the competition’s showpiece, despite only earning his place in the draw as a result of Ronnie O’Sullivan’s withdrawal.
And in the wake of his disappointing defeat, Murphy insisted he would be delighted to see the two-time World Championship runner-up go on and lift the trophy on Sunday evening.
“When you consider Ali - he’s got to the final at the Crucible twice and been through a lot away from the table - to come through all of that and be here now is incredible.
“I think it would be a fairy-tale story if he was to go on and win so I wish him all the best and hopefully we’ll see him go on to lift the trophy.”
Watch the London Masters LIVE on Eurosport and Eurosport Player with analysis from Ronnie O'Sullivan, Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.