Neil Robertson, a snooker player blessed with a warrior-like temperament, today emerged victorious from a Beijing battle with Mark Selby to win his first world ranking title since he captured the 2010 World Open.

Robertson has been close several times this season. Today’s final was not the most aesthetically pleasing, and certainly not the quickest, but there was plenty of tactical skill on show and any victory over Selby in a long match is an achievement.

It was Selby who started slowly, making too many mistakes in the opening session and Robertson, though not at his very best, took advantage to carve out a 6-1 lead.

Some sort of Selby comeback was virtually guaranteed and he did pull back to 6-4 but Robertson was never going to buckle and his 10-6 victory is a pre-Crucible confidence boost.

It also means that, going into the World Championship, each of this season’s ranking events have been won by a different player.

I think Neil is a terrific competitor. He’s also a positive thinker, not a moaner and groaner. He has iron self belief and is single minded in the way so many champions of the past have been.

Nobody gave him anything. He had to work for it. He had to leave his family and relocate to the other side of the world to pursue his dreams.

So I admire him for what he has achieved. He is now, in terms of ranking titles, the most successful player ever from outside the UK.

And now all roads lead to Sheffield. The qualifiers for the Betfair World Championship begin on Thursday. The Crucible draw will be made at 1.30pm on April 15 live on Talksport.

The televised phase of the game’s greatest tournament get underway on April 20.

It’s the climax of the season and the campaign shows us that it’s wide open.


Anonymous said...

Fantastic week for Robertson, and has now cleared his head in losing his last 4 finals I believe by winning this one, and also beating Selby for the second successive time. The memory of losing from 4-0 up in the UK to Selby will be forgotten now. Knows he can win in Sheffield because he has done before and I think would have won last year but for a determined and clear headed O'Sullivan. Robbo should be slight fav now and will take all the beating along with Ding for the worlds.

Anonymous said...

Great win for neil especially considering playing a great grinder in selby whos achievements also speak for themself regardless of what the haters say..Neil has now won 7 ranking titles and could very well surpass jimmy whites ten ranking titles on the all time ranking list..Neil could have won back to back ranking titles if it wasnt for dings amazing comeback in ireland last week..Neil would be a worthy 2 time world champion something I would love to see him do.Then he would join an exclusive club of people who won the world championships more than once.When is next years calender being announced looking forward to seeing whats in store next year.

Anonymous said...

It's nice to see Neil finally win an overseas event.

Anonymous said...

Well done Robbo!

712, spot on.


Hi David. A great finl, today, in my view.

Selby won frame one, to go 1-0 up. Robertson won the next six frames, to go 6-1 up. Due to great safety, this, is where the session ended, two frames early. Robertson's lead, 6-1.

In session two, Selby, needed the better start. He got it. He won the first three frames. Robertson's lead, 6-4. Robertson won the next three frames. His lead, 9-4. Selby, won the next two frames, to make it 9-6' to Robertson. Robertson, won the next frame, to win the match, 10-6. A reverse, of when Selby beat Robertson, 10-6, in the 2013 Masters final, in London.

Great stuff.

Anonymous said...

@8:43 pm Neil won the 2008 Bahrain championship too.

Anonymous said...

Despite the comprehensive coverage by Eurosport which I appreciate, I join other comments on this website by asking can Eurosport PLEASE sort out the 2 second delay between sound and vision.

There is no technical reason why these two cannot be synchronised so what is the problem? Dave are you allowed to say? Do ES recognise it is irritating?

Anonymous said...

Agreed 3.11. I know that I watch a lot more of the World Championship on Eurosport these days because of all the nonsense on BBC, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. So now would be a great time to finally fix it.

I'll swear I heard one of the commentators saying "so Taylor has this black to become 1985 world champion" on the China Open coverage the other day.

Anonymous said...

3.11 - Personally, it's seems in perfect time to me...

Anonymous said...

On to the World Chp:

See the qual draw is out today and some interesting POTENTIAL final qualifying round matches - Woollaston/Day, Michaell White/Higginson, Lisowski/O'Brien, Dave Gilbert (last 16 last yr) v Fu (former semi finalist), McGill/Gould (although Brecel in same part of draw), M.Davis/Wenbo, Steve Davis/Ebdon, Milkins/Jimmy White (although Jimmy would likely have to beat Pengfei and Guodong first) - personally I'd be surprised if he did beat Pengfei although Pengfei has to win a match first.

Anonymous said...

The seeding draw for the World Chp also - if all the favourites got through to the quarter finals we would be left with:

O'Sullivan v Higgins

Trump v Murphy

Robertson v Maguire

Selby v Junhui

Obviously, Carter, Bingham, Allen and from the qualifiers, Woollaston, Fu and Gould might have something to say about that. Don't see anyone else getting through to the quarter-finals.

Anonymous said...

The way Higgins has been playing he won't make it past the 1st round then again he plays his best snooker at the crucible. Looking at the top half of the draw can't see any one threatening ronnie unless Higgins is in top form and i can't see trump beating o'sullivan in a best of 33 semi final because he's so good in longer games, so I'm predicting a o'sullivan v ding final that would be tasty !!

Anonymous said...

Still no Stephen Lee announcement? Surely WS aren't going to be so daft as to do it on the eve of the World Champs. What on earth is the delay?

Anonymous said...

2.06 JH didn't play his best snooker last year, or when the nugget beat him 3 years ago or when Ryan Day caned him 5 years ago. John is very hit and miss at the Crucible.

Anonymous said...

2.06 - "i can't see trump beating o'sullivan in a best of 33 semi final because he's so good in longer games" - he did beat Ding 17-15 in the semis 2 years ago and almost beat Higgins in the final. Has won the UK (best of 17' and a best of 19 final) he's fine in longer matches and would prefer them I'm sure.

3.23 - "Still no Stephen Lee announcement?" - On the BBC website it says -
Stephen Lee: Banned snooker player to miss Crucible
By Frank Keogh BBC Sport

Suspended snooker player Stephen Lee will miss the 2013 World Championship because a match-fixing investigation will not be completed beforehand.

Anonymous said...

3.23, this is not Stephen Lee's website. Why dont you contact WS if your that concerned?

Anonymous said...

That's why he's won it 4 times ... Bit of a stupid reply