China’s Cao Yupeng put on a superb display to take a 5-3 lead over Triple Crown winner Neil Robertson after the first session of the Dafabet Scottish Open final in Glasgow.
The 27-year-old is enjoying the best week of his career so far, having already made a maiden 147 break in his 4-0 first round win over Andrew Higginson. He stands to make £22,000 for that magic run and can add a further £70,000 if he were to win tonight.
Robertson has already ensured an instant return to the world’s top 16 this week after dropping to 20th in the world at last week’s UK Championship.
Cao showed no signs of early nerves as he produced a composed break of 82 to take the opening frame.
Robertson then led the second frame 65-0. However, world number 67 Cao looked set to steal, as he strung together a fine run of 62 before missing the final black off its spot. Robertson potted it and clenched his fist as he levelled at 1-1.
Further contributions of 72 and 70 saw Cao lead 3-1 at the mid-session. When they returned Robertson closed the gap, but Cao quickly extended his lead to 5-2.
Robertson won a crucial final frame with runs of 64 and 50 to set up an enticing final session this evening with the score at 5-3. They will play the best of 17 clash to its conclusion at 7pm.