As far as comebacks go, this one must rank up there with the very best.
|Picture by Monique Limbos|
Instead, he has continued to fight his way on and has now been rewarded with winning his third ranking title; probably the most satisfying of his career.
This is Carter's first major trophy since victory at the 2010 Shanghai Masters and will prove to him, and everyone else, that he is strong enough to beat an illness that has restricted him for so long.
Carter has always had great spirit. He needed that at the Tempodrom. He found himself 5-3 down to Marco Fu after the first session of this final in Berlin but saved his best until last to run out a 9-6 winner after the evening's play.
Fu didn't get going but Ali was ultra determined. It was the kind of performance from a man who looked as if he had decided to go for broke in search of victory.
No-one will begrudge Ali his win here. It's a victory for a man against all odds, but it has been coming.
He reached the World Championship final back in May and cruelly lost 9-8 to Shaun Murphy in the UK Championship semi-finals in December from 8-4 ahead. That defeat was crushing. Ali broke down in tears at the press conference after the match when asked about his illness.
But in Berlin there was no near miss or no brave defeat. Instead, it was an emotional win.
Carter has had a tough couple of years but is proving he is still capable of fighting for the top prizes.
He deserves a lot of respect for his hard-earned win. It was a fitting end to a tournament which was made special by the enthusiastic German crowd.
Carter isn't always in the first set of names mentioned to contend for titles at the start of a tournament, but he will always be their trying and has showed on numerous occasions that he isn't short of ability.