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.