Two-time World Championship runner-up Ali Carter believes a maiden Triple Crown title may be written in the stars, as he charged into the Masters final for the first time with a 6-3 victory over Shaun Murphy.
The 40-year-old only earned his place at the invitational event as a result of Ronnie O’Sullivan’s withdrawal, but has wowed all at Alexandra Palace with wins over Mark Selby, John Higgins and Murphy en route to Sunday’s showpiece.
Having raced into an early 2-0 lead against 2005 world champion Murphy, Carter found himself pegged back to 2-1, 3-2 and 4-3, before rediscovering his rhythm and finishing off in style with a break of 97.
And having profited from good fortune on a couple of occasions during the best-of-11 match, Carter believes fate could ultimately play into his hands with victory in North London now just one game away.
“I don’t think I’ve played any outstanding snooker yet” he said. “But maybe the writing is on the wall.
“I potted an important ball in the sixth frame that took the wind out of Shaun’s sails but at that stage there is still a lot to do. I think I went about my business well.
“I can’t wait to get out there again now - it’s massive for me. I’m just going to play my own game and keep the same things going.
“Hopefully I can take what I’ve learnt from my previous finals into Sunday. I’ve come really close before, but maybe this is my time now.”
Carter will face fellow Essex potter Stuart Bingham in the final, after the 2015 world champion dispatched Masters debutant David Gilbert 6-2 in Saturday’s second semi-final.
Following victory, the 43-year-old acknowledged there remains area for improvement in certain aspects of his game, but admitted he can’t wait to face off against an opponent he came through the ranks alongside.
He said: “I’m not 100 per cent happy with my game and I missed some bad balls but a win’s a win. I’m just relieved to get over the line in the end and be in the Masters final.
“I settled down quicker than Dave - you could see he was a bit nervous with a couple of early misses and although he made a nice 131 before the mid-session interval I managed to see the game through.
“It should be a good game against Ali. We used to play each other at county level when we were younger and now we’re going to meet in a major final which is a bit surreal, really.
“It’d mean everything to win the trophy, but if someone had told me I’d get to the final of the tournament I’d have snapped their hands off. I’ll go out there, try to enjoy myself and hopefully I’ll get the right result.”
Watch the London Masters LIVE on Eurosport and Eurosport Player with analysis from Ronnie O'Sullivan, Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.