Thunder Strikes Again in Milton Keynes…
SnookerZone’s Pick of the Cue Sports This Weekend…
It was an explosive weekend of cue sports action as snooker fans celebrated fireworks weekend.
After narrowly missing out last year to Judd Trump in an eery Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes, Neil Robertson has lifted this season’s BetVictor English Open to this time a packed crowd.
The Thunder Down Under came from behind to claim a thrilling deciding frame to lift the coveted Steve Davis trophy, and 70K 9 – 8.
Runner-up John Higgins was 5 – 3 down after the afternoon session, but somehow in the evening found some hints of form and went 8 – 6 up before Robertson pulled himself together and forced a decider.
Higgins, 46, appeared in his second ranking final this season and consecutive one after losing to Mark Allen in the BetVictor Northern Ireland Open in Belfast just but a couple of weeks ago.
Said Robertson after to WST about winning and beating Higgins and lifting the iconic Steve Davis Trophy:
He was someone that, as a kid, I absolutely idolised. I always dreamed of just meeting him, but to be sharing a table with him in a final is incredible,” said the 39-year-old.
“I said earlier this week that I’d won the Welsh and Scottish Opens. To win the English Open and the Steve Davis Trophy leaves just one more with the Northern Ireland Open. I’ll have to focus on that one next year and win the whole set
Higgins said after his game was not there yet – despite having said earlier in the week, that he had been playing some of his best snooker yet.
He added: “This afternoon I was a little tired, but Neil made me tired. It was like Mowgli in the Jungle Book when the snake put him to sleep. He is such an unbelievable player and cueist. I was nearly falling asleep the way he was just continually hitting the ball and banging the back of the pockets.
“It was great to share a final with him, as he is one of the best ever. It was a great final to be involved in, I came out the loser again but every credit to him. He was fantastic.”
Higgins met compatriot class of 92 player Ronnie O’Sullivan in the semi-finals and narrowly pinched that on the colours in the deciding frame too.
Robertson picked up his 21st ranking title while Higgins was vying for a 32nd.
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British talent shone through on the big stage…
Earlier on in the tournament, 17-year-old Paul Deaville made an incredible first appearance as an amateur reaching the last 16 of his first appearance in a professional event.
Deaville was supposed to be playing Mark Williams in the first round, but Williams, the three-time World Champion, had to withdraw from the event after testing positive for coronavirus.
He was one of two players along with Oliver Sykes picked to appear in the event from the English Partnership for Snooker and Billiards (EPSB).