Ali Carter and Alexander Ursenbacher emerged as the respective group winners on day two of the Championship League at a sweltering Morningside Arena in Leicester.
Double world finalist Carter enjoyed a 3-1 success against Michael Georgiou – including breaks of 61, 79 and 57 – and a 3-0 victory over Sydney Wilson with knocks of 71, 60 and 63 before a 2-2 draw with Dominic Dale ensured he was undefeated in reaching the last 32 as Group 19 winner.
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Carter's break-off shot in the third frame of his 2-2 draw with Dale was a major talking point as he smashed open the pack of reds via two cushions with the blistering summer heat appearing to leave the Essex man hot under the collar inside the darkened venue.
"Well, hello..this is a new break-off shot," said commentator Dave Hendon. "Seen it all now. Off two cushions at pace."
Group eight winner Peter Lines was left speechless when Hendon asked for his thoughts. "Give me a second, I don't think he's too happy throwing that last frame away knowing he has two more frames to play rather than one."
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Carter had his own take on the bizarre shot.
“Winning the first two matches meant that last game didn’t mean anything for me,” said the world number 24.
“When I beat Syd I knew I had won the group, the job was done and that’s the main thing.
I've been practising a bit, I’ve got some goals this season and I will try and apply myself properly this year. I’m 42 next week and haven’t got too many more years left, but I still think I can compete at the top level and I know I can if I do all the right things.
“I want to get back into the top 16 and win another tournament, that’s my goal and I have a plan in place to achieve that and I’m looking forward to the journey.”
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Swiss player Ursenbacher was undefeated in all three of his Group 23 fixtures as he completed wins over Aaron Hill (3-0), Scott Donaldson (3-0) and Leo Fernandez (3-0) on Monday.
“I didn’t expect it,” commented world number 45 Ursenbacher.
“I felt really good and I don’t think I’ve ever done that before. Last season I struggled with the table at Championship League but they were lovely today. It was very hot, I struggle with the heat most tournaments anyway, but being able to wear a polo shirt made it easier.
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“I’m not trying to set myself too many goals or expect too much but I will keep focused, have the right people around me and prepare well for the tournaments.
"I haven’t played much over the summer because it is important to relax sometimes and not think about snooker too much because it is a brutal sport, especially mentally.”
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