ALI Carter has been no stranger to success at the German Masters, but the Colchester-born cueman admitted to a sense of relief in just reaching the last-16 in Berlin’s Tempodrom.

Carter lifted the title back in 2013, but had since failed to win a match in the competition – a run which ended with a 5-1 victory over Stephen Maguire on Wednesday afternoon.

Having battled to win the first frame in unlikely circumstances, the world number 14 consolidated his advantage with a break of 112 to double his lead – a position from which he never looked back.

And with Maguire – ranked 25th in the world – far from his dangerous best, Carter wasted little time easing his way into Thursday’s last-16.

“It’s a good game to start off with," said Carter.

"I wanted to get back to winning ways after losing in the first round of the Masters and I’ve done that, given myself a bit of confidence and I can push on from it.

“I’ve been a winner here and it really wasn’t that long ago – it feels a lot longer with the cancer and health issues I’ve had but it’s fantastic to be back, to be competing and hopefully I can do very well.

“That first frame was so important. I was 50-odd behind and never really looked like winning but that allowed me to get off and running. You get the run of the balls sometimes and you have to take it.

“I’m confident, but it’s one game at a time from here on.”

Victory over Maguire was the Essex potter’s fifth in the last six meetings between the pair, a run dating back to 2012 – something both players admitted had its affects in Germany.

But Carter insists it’s a record more down to luck than quality, delighted just to be able to make the most of his opportunities as he looks to add a fifth ranking event to his trophy cabinet.

He added: “I seem to always play well against Stephen, or at least do enough to come out on top.

“It’s not because I’m a better player. It just happens that sometimes you get a player who you always seem to get past and it’s one of those things.

“It’s a funny old game. If we played 100 games we wouldn’t be far off winning 50 each, so you just take it when it comes.”

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