27 march 2021 publish date
In the first semi-final of 2021 Cazoo Tour Championship at the Celtic Manor Resort Neil Robertson played with Mark Selby.
The clash was a repeat of a quarter-final meeting at the 2019 Tour Championship, where Robertson won on the final black in an epic encounter 9-8.
Both players earned their last four spots with comfortable quarter-final victories. Robertson defeated Jack Lisowski 10-5 while Selby thrashed Kyren Wilson 10-3.
Robertson made a flying start this afternoon, breaks of 114, 81 and 77 helped him to take the first four frames and lead 4-0 at the mid-session.
When play resumed breaks of 80 and 93 saw Selby claw himself back into the tie at 4-2. However, it was Australia’s Robertson who claimed the final two frames to end the afternoon 6-2 in front.
Robertson, a winner of 19 career ranking titles, kicked off this evening’s play with the highest break of the event so far, a run of 136, which put him 7-2 up. Further breaks of 84 and 103 saw the relentless Robertson claim two of the next three to head into the mid-session 10-3 up.
Only one frame was required when they got back underway, with Robertson taking it to reach the 32nd ranking final of his career.
This evening’s victory for 2010 Crucible king Robertson means he has now won all four of his meetings with three-time World Champion Selby this season. The Thunder from Down Under racked up 6-5 wins at the Champion of Champions and English Open, before also beating Selby 6-2 on his way to claiming the UK Championship title.
Selby will now begin his preparations for next month’s World Championship in Sheffield. The Leicester cueman came agonisingly close to last year’s final, but was edged out with a 17-16 loss to O’Sullivan in the last four.
Australia’s Robertson progresses to Sunday’s final, where he will face either Ronnie O’Sullivan or Barry Hawkins. The winner will pocket the top prize of £150,000.
“It was really good from the start. It is important to stamp your authority wherever possible and I pounced on a couple of minor mistakes which Mark made,” said 39-year-old Robertson.
“It’ll only motivate him to try harder next time. We are very good friends and all parts of the match we were chatting non-stop. He likes a chat, it doesn’t matter who he is playing, he just likes talking. Next time he will be more motivated, I would be too if I lost a few matches to somebody.
“Both Ronnie and Barry are really good in the long distance format. They have probably been the most consistent performers at the World Championship over the last seven years. Barry has been a bit unlucky and lost a couple of close semis and that fantastic final to Ronnie when he played really well. Either way I just have to play the game on my terms, try my best and see what happens.”
The article is based on WST.TV