Snooker: Meet the New Prince of Wales, the Incredible Neil Robertson

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Australia’s Neil Robertson claimed his 15th ranking title in Cardiff over the weekend as he hung on in a tight final to win the ManBetX Welsh Open eventually in style – 9 – 7.

Robertson, 37, had double success in Wales as he had originally racked a 147 break but had to share half of the 17K prize with Thailand’s Noppon Saengkham.

But, it was Robbo in steely manner who lifted the Ray Reardon trophy and a 70K first prize cheque after beating Stuart Bingham, who made a gutsy comeback from 4 – 1 and 7 – 3 down respectively. It’s his second Welsh Open title since 2007.

At 7 – 7 it was looking nervy but “Big Robbo” as he is sometimes called won the scrappy frame before coming out in frame 16 and potting a stunning long red to get in and rack a plucky 83 break to seal the deal.

After, Robertson, lavished praised on Bingham, and told Eurosport: “I think Stuart was the better player today.” He added that Bingham missed a few balls but his safety is top draw and he was always being put in a snooker.

He also said about his hopes for winning a second World Championship, which he has not won one since 2010: “I need to push on now, and get another World title.”

Early on in the season, Robertson had won in Riga, but he admitted he generally doesn’t do a lot later on in seasons, and said it was good to win one nearer the World Championships as it gives you great confidence.

For Bingham, it was a gutsy comeback from 7 – 3 down – despite not playing his best stuff in the final. He had made 11 tons during the event.

Robbo equals Bingham in having won two Home Nations events, which include:

  • 2017 Scottish Open
  • 2019 Welsh Open

Bingham’s wins include;

  • 2017 Welsh Open
  • 2018 English Open

Positives for Iran’s Vafaei and young Joe O’Connor

Leicester’s Joe O’Connor, English Amateur Champion had a remarkable journey in Wales, after beating German Master Kyren Wilson, Ding Junhui, and, John Higgins, but fell short in the semi’s with Bingham. It was also a good run for Iran’s Hossein Vafaei who unfortunately was whitewashed 6 – 0 in the semi’s but nevertheless is on route to becoming a future tournament winner. Fans rushed to congratulate the 23-year-old on his great run in Cardiff. As he’s only been on the tour under a year.

Chris Gaynor

Chris Gaynor is a writer with 10 years' experience writing for the web. He loves snooker, CSI and loves cycling off tiramisu!