Neil Robertson’s eighth world ranking title today may have been his best in terms of the quality of his performance.

From 5-2 down to John Higgins in the Wuxi Classic final, Robertson cued superbly as he won six frames in succession before going on to win 10-7.

The Australian is as tough as they come. Even after losing a tightly contested 16th frame on the pink he didn’t waver, immediately slamming in a long red at the start of the next and maintaining his positive outlook right to the end.

Robertson has always been a better player when attacking. He is a terrific shot-maker who has developed into an all round master.

He is now more than 6,000 points clear at the top of the world rankings in a campaign which has barely got going.

All this for a Wuxi Classic campaign which began in unpromising fashion last month when he arrived for his qualifying match only to find he hadn’t packed his playing gear (this begs the question: what exactly did he pack?)

Thankfully, his A game arrived safely in Wuxi and he romped to the quarter-finals without breaking sweat, won a great match with Cao Yupeng, beat Robert Milkins in the semis and dug deep when he had to after Higgins looked like he might run away with it.

Both Robertson and Higgins were stung by first round exits at the World Championship. Perhaps this is reverse burnout in operation. Players who failed to go deep at the Crucible were fresher for the new campaign and more determined too.

The question now for Robertson is how long he can keep this up. Each of last season’s ranking titles was won by a different player. Can Robertson win two, three, maybe even four?

Time will tell but he certainly goes to his home event, the Australian Goldfields Open, in a fortnight’s time as the man to beat.


Anonymous said...

Neil certainly wants to go to Australia at his best and I wouldn't be surprised if he won it. He's certainly been putting the work in and, IMO, this is to a large extend while he's so sharp at this time of the season when many at the top are rusty and still in holiday mood.
Neil has not done well in his home tournament in the previous installments and surely he wants to put that right. Not just for himself and his fans, but also having in mind that this is the last year of the existing contract if I'm not mistaken. If he was to win it, it could be a crucial factor to convince sponsors to put enough money on the table to develop the tournament and make it more attractive to the top players (more prize money and a big city venue)

Anonymous said...

Whatever the reason these two crashed out at Sheffield come April 2014 if you are a true snooker fan you will want these guys in top form.

Maybe there needs to be a month gap before Sheffield

kildare cueman said...

Dont fancy Robbo for Australia.
Like Ding in China and Doherty in Ireland, Robbo seems to struggle with playing at home. Different type of pressure although if anyone has the temperament to overcome that particular jitter, its him.

I'd like to see him win it, or at least reach the final. Would be a good boost for the game down under.

Anonymous said...

He's a "man of steel"??
Dave is basically implying that Neil is a cheater.
Surely there must be some regulations regarding metal androids participating in ranking tournaments.

Oh, now I get it. Is that why he's called "Robbo"?

Anonymous said...

Maybe there needs to be a month gap before Sheffield

Time is money my son. These lads should be grateful to be working in the current economic climate. There are plenty of highly qualified graduates out there unable to find work, and it has to be said these boys are hardly brains of Britain. They just need to get used to hard work.

Anonymous said...

Robertson desperately needs to win in Oz next moth. As it stands, with so many big names unwilling to make the trip I don't think the organisers have any interest to carry on past this year.

Anonymous said...

The second bbc red button Chanel 302 has returned hopefully good news for snooker

Anonymous said...

Dave, do you speak to you Hendry occasionally? If so, do you know anything about his ambitions in golf? He seems to be pretty good at that as well.

Anonymous said...

Re BBC Red Button 2nd channel has returned.

I have just remembered that it was reported during the World Championship, that Barry Hearn made a complaint to the BBC about the coverage of the opening Ronnie O'Sullivan match, when BBC2 carried the nth repeat of Some Mothers Do Have Them, and the single red button channel was in use for something else.

Looking on the web it appears that the second red button channel is available to 90% of Freeview viewers in the UK, and should be on Freesat too. Why 90%, read it yourself, it's a technical constraint...

It also looks likely that there will be a High Definition version of the red button too.

So hopefully for the World & UK, we will see a return to 2 table coverage on the BBC.

Anonymous said...

Not strictly on topic, but interesting interview with Hendry about Alex Higgins:


I actually agree with him. I certainly think other players that knew him should have attended.