Robertson signs his name on UK Championship trophy

01:32:00 Ramona Dragomir 0 Comments

Robertson kissing the UK Championship trophy
A tremendous cues-crossing ended tonight in York, with Neil Robertson beating the reigning champion Mark Selby by 10-7, in order to win a tournament that wasn't marked in his CV - the UK Championship.

And what an achievement this is for the Aussie, as Neil has previously won the 2010 World Championship and the 2012 Masters, the only thing missing to complete the marvellous trio being the UK Championship.

But mind you that it was no bed of roses for "The Thunder from DownUnder" whose mum flew all the way from ... well Down Under …. to watch his lad play against a very dangerous opponent.

The final, refereed by Brendan Moore, started with a wonderfully cued 130 (total clearance) break signed by Selby, to which Neil responded with a simple but efficient 63. It was one apiece.

The great Mark Selby
Considering the start the prospects looked good for both players, but what do you know? It wasn't to be like that. Selby stormed in and hit in breaks of 49, 39, 35, 57 and 35 to go all the way to 5-1. He was on fire!

It looked ominous for the Australian seemed doomed to be kept in his seat and when he was at the table, he was clearly in no position to capitalise.

But something happened and by the end of the first session, Robertson managed to pull back two frames with a bit of help from runs of 54 and 123. 

The scoreline froze temporarily at 5-3.

Packed house in York
A lot of mysterious smoke and the lads were re-entering into the arena a couple of hours later. This was it, the final battle. Let's play snooker!

The first in was, as in the first frame, Selby whose breaks of 41 and 25 were putting enough pressure on his opponent, as he was now just four frames away from getting his hands on that shiny trophy that he so proudly won last year.

But Robertson had other things in mind. More focused than before and with a confidence that was nowhere to be found during the previous session, the Australian started his comeback.

Breaks of 56 and 122 and a brilliant 132 total clearance were re-establishing a balance of six apiece on the scoreboard, while runs of 26, 20 and 47 were helping Robertson to put his nose in front, for the very first time since the beginning of the final, at 8-6.

True sportsmanship
A re-racked 15th frame was carefully won by a revived Selby with a top break of 42, while the next one ... well, let's just say it was pitch-black!

It was a very scrappy frame that ended on the colours after Robbo missed frame-ball (pink) and it continued on the black. It was enough hard work to clear the colours, but to be left with a tricky black seemed a bit too much, even for Selby.

Still, he kept himself composed until the very last second when he missed to pot the black by a tiny fraction (JV should be so happy that I used one of his catchlines). No-one could believe it, not Selby, not the audience, not me, not the commentators, not even Robertson who was now handed with the chance to go one-away from victory. 

After the overwhelming victory
And as the black ball sank into the pocket, we all knew it was just a matter of time before he will capitalise and close the deal. 54 points later, Robertson was the champion!

Getting a genuine hug from Selby (true sportsmanship there) and one from a very emotional mum that almost brought him into tears, Robertson seemed so overwhelmed by the moment that his entire interview with Hazel was a continuous series of "aaaa’s" and "eeermmm’s".

So the lad has done it! He's won the World Championship, he's won the Masters, the China Open, the Welsh Open, the World Open etc and now the UK Championship. This is pure class and a re-assurance of the fact that he's indeed world number 1.

No-one can argue with that.

Regarding Selby, I have only one thing to say: here comes the Masters! ;-)