It may have gone unnoticed as it wasn’t on TV but what a fine performance from Jimmy Robertson on Monday, making three centuries to win his match in the wildcard round, including a 142 total clearance, his highest break as a professional.
His reward is a meeting with his namesake, Neil Robertson who has been solidly consistent this season without winning a major title.
Jimmy played at the Crucible two years ago and was a bag of nerves. However, he goes into today’s match knowing he is playing well.
Mark Williams has won three ranking titles in China but came to Beijing well aware that his form and very future are being openly questioned.
Now 38, Williams is not in the first flush of youth and, being naturally self deprecating, is forever talking down his chances but he is far from finished in my view.
That said, he faces a potential embarrassment at the hands of a 15 year-old, Lu Haotian, who wasn’t even born by the time MJW won his first three ranking titles.
Lu was a quarter-finalist at the International Championship earlier this season and is dangerous. Williams is on a bit of a hiding to nothing: if he wins people will say he should have done, if he loses it will be a huge confidence sapper.
Robert Milkins at one point threw his cue on the floor yesterday in a display of petulance his opponent, John Higgins, later called ‘pathetic.’
It was certainly bad manners but Milkins later apologised. Players shouldn’t behave like that but they are human and humans make mistakes when their emotions are running high.
Nothing in modern life seems to pass without a running commentary of disapproval from people who have obviously never done anything wrong. Milkins may be fined for ungentlemanly conduct but more worrying for Higgins is his own form, which is wildly inconsistent.
The 116 he made was one of the best breaks I’ve seen all year. Much of the rest of his performance was patchy.
I’m not going to bore on about Jack Lisowski again, except to say that his performance in beating Judd Trump yesterday was sensational: the best of his career.
This was a wonderfully entertaining match, and without entertainment snooker wouldn’t be a professional sport at anything like the level it is.
It was kind of like a Jimmy White-Kirk Stevens match of old: exciting young talents making the game look ridiculously easy.
Of course, we all know that it isn’t.