While Robertson strode majestically into the Betfair Masters final, Selby’s path was more of a crawl as he completed his latest comeback at half past midnight to see off Graeme Dott.

He told me afterwards he hadn’t slept much the previous night and felt flat and ill at ease early on in the match. Dott on the other hand was flowing but the match turned when he failed to pot the black to lead 5-1.

This became hard match snooker – undoubtedly too hard for some tastes – but Selby got the job done. I hope for his sake he slept well last night because he’s going to need his stamina against Robertson, whose all round game was excellent in beating Shaun Murphy 6-2.

A couple of killer clearances made the difference as Robertson’s poise under pressure came to the fore once again. He has played well in all departments over the last week, potting well, scoring heavily and employing deadly safety when required.

These two have managed to avoid each other in tournament draws over the last few years but are at last meeting in a major final.

This is a battle of the snooker tough guys. No quarter will be asked or given.

But I feel Robertson has played the better snooker and he is one of the few players capable of contending with a determined Selby.

PREDICTION: Robertson 10-6


Anonymous said...

The Selby haters will be out in force after last night! I really wanted Dott to win but totally admire and respect Selby for his performance. Good luck to both players for today, it's been a fantastic week and hopefully will be a great final too.

Anonymous said...

Is Barry Hearn around? Haven't seen him all week. And when will Stephen Lee find out his fate? It needs to be sorted out soon.

The Blog said...

One of the amusing images from this year's Masters Final is that of some of the audience wearing short sleeve shirts.

It's sub-zero outside!

Anonymous said...

It WAS a fantastic week until yesterday (Saturday)

At least normal service has been restored this afternoon.

Ryan said...

I missed the first three frames of the final as I was watching the titanic conclusion to Novak Djokovic v Stanislas Wawrinka at the Australian Open!

Sounds like Neil Robertson had opportunities early on but great to see reduce the arrears to 5-3, the disappointing thing is with an 8pm start it could be a very late finish.

Three hours between sessions is too long, I was at Telford in 2007 for the UK Final and likewise had an extended break and the time just drags!

Couple of questions, David, as you Mike and Joe are on site at Ally Pally can the commentary earpieces pick up your commentary? Or is it the just the BBC?

Secondly, haven't heard from Mike Smith since before Christmas - is he still working for EuroSport?


Anonymous said...

I think Selby may have missed the boat somewhat. Given how poorly Robbo was playing he was lucky to be only trailing 5-3 at the end of the session. He looked like was finding some fluency towards the end.

Dave H said...

The crowd only have the BBC commentary. Mike is doing Eurosport International this week.


Hi David. A good standaryto the first session of the final. Selby .V. Robertson.

Frame 1 - A scrappy stary. Selby wins it, to lead 1-0.

Frame 2 - A well construted 73 break from Selby. Potting nine blue's in it. He wins it, to lead 2-0.

Frame 3 - Robertson is in. He makes a mistake. Selby takes the frame. with a 102 break, his first century, and highest break of the week, Selby leads, 3-0.

Frame 4 - Robertson makes a 78 break, to win it. Selby leads, 3-1, at the mid-session interval.

Frame 5 - Selby was the boss. He won it, to lead, 4-1.

Frame 6 - Selby won this after Robertson had chances. Selby leads, 5-1.

Frame 7 - Robertson wins it, with good play. Selby is 5-2 up.

Frame 8. Robertson wins it, with a 72 break. Selby leads, 5-3, going into tonight's final session. I can not wait. It should be a great one.

If Selby wins and the mach ends before midnight, it will be five years to the day, since he won his first one.

He did so, beating Stephen Lee, 10-3, in the 2008 final, on 20-1-2008. Today, prior to midnight, it is 20-1-2013.

PREDICTION: I do not expect anybody yo win easily. I predict, it will be tight. The first to get 10 frames won, will definately win it.


Hi David. To follow on from my previous post, I would also like to say, that. If Roberson wins this year's final, he will become the first player, since Paul Hunter, in 2002, to successfully defend this Masters title.

The Blog said...

No Willie Thorne at this year's Masters.


There wasn't last year either, re: The Blog.


Hi David. Session 22. High standard. Great tactics. Well done to Selby.

Anonymous said...

There is a reason Selby is hated. A good reason.

Anonymous said...

@ 4:23pm

is it because Ronnie can't beat him?