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Ronnie O’Sullivan started his Tour Championship quarter-final match with Ali Carter relentlessly, as he took a six-frame lead in the opening session.

The pair locked horns again on Wednesday following a fiery exchange after the Masters final in January, which led to past grievances resurfacing.

O’Sullivan stepped out in an olive-coloured shirt and began the match with a vengeance, speeding to a 4-0 lead ahead of the first mid-session interval.

Carter missed a simple pot to the bottom left in the first frame, which allowed O’Sullivan to flex his muscles for the early advantage in the hotly-anticipated encounter, as he took the lead with a 77 break.

A scrappy second frame followed but ‘The Rocket’ did enough to stay just ahead throughout, before planting the yellow to double his lead. He then fired in an 87-point break to strengthen his buffer to three frames.

The seven-time world champion threatened to run away with the match when he won his fourth frame in a row, concluding the opening interval of the first session with a whitewashing of Carter.

O’Sullivan picked up where he left off and continued his domination of ‘The Captain’, sinking breaks of 51 and 81 as he moved six frames clear in the best-of-19 battle.

The 48-year-old fell just short of a century but posted his highest break of the match so far with a run of 92 to stretch his lead to seven frames.

With a clean sweep on the cards, Carter kickstarted his fightback and responded to O’Sullivan’s superiority with an excellent break of 141 for 7-1 to give him a glimmer of hope.

The players will meet for the remainder of the contest on Wednesday evening, with O’Sullivan needing two frames to book his spot in the last four.

Meanwhile, Carter requires eight frames without much response from O’Sullivan.

The winner will face either Zhang Anda or Gary Wilson for a spot in the final.

Stream top snooker action, including the World Snooker Championship, live on discovery+, the Eurosport app and at eurosport.com

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