Jimmy Robertson is a late withdrawal for tomorrow’s Kaspersky Riga Masters with his partner Hayley due to give birth to their second child. However, it’s been a good few months for the Englishman and we caught up with him to discuss the season ahead…
Jimmy, although it’s disappointing for you to miss out on Riga, you must be excited ahead of the birth of your second child?
Yes, I’m very excited. I felt that I still needed to enter the event to try and qualify. We had heard that the second baby always tends to come early, but that hasn’t turned out to be the case this time. If I hadn’t entered it would have almost certainly have come early so it is just unlucky. I was practising all the way up to yesterday in case it happened in time for me to go. I’m gutted not to play, but it is also a pretty good reason and a no brainer for me.
Does being a father give you added motivation to achieve in the sport?
I definitely want to achieve something for them. It was great to qualify for the Crucible this year. My son Frankie was watching at home. Before my walk on Rob Walker the MC gave him a mention on television. He was absolutely delighted with it. We still have that recorded and he loves watching it. It is an exciting time for all of us and Frankie can’t wait to meet his new sister. However, at the end of the day the other pressure of having children is you have more responsibility. I need to get results to pay their upbringing, so I will be practising hard to make sure I do my best.
Your match at the Crucible was a tremendous encounter with Mark Allen. Amazingly you made nine breaks over fifty and still lost out 10-8. Was disappointment the overriding emotion or did you take the positives from it?
That match was the most comfortable I have felt on the television. I’ve been playing some decent snooker lately and it was the same at the Crucible. I was disappointed to throw away a couple of frames but on the whole it was a great match and I have to look at it as a positive. It really is a confidence thing and the more experience I get of playing on television the more settled I should be with it.
Following your performance at the Crucible you have started the new campaign with two wins at qualifying for the Riga Masters and China Championship. Have you been doing anything differently with your game?
I’ve been frustrated at the fact that I just haven’t been performing on the TV stage. I worked with a sports psychologist for the first time during the World Championship. I’ve been with Martin Perry since the new year, but for the first time I had him throughout the event in Sheffield including the qualifiers. We have just been working on getting me chilled out and in the right frame of mind to play. I’ve been a nervous wreck the last few years and I think I took confidence from him being there.
What are the main goals for the season?
I think it very much is a case of taking it tournament by tournament. On the basis of what I was saying before I would like to try to play well enough to be on TV more frequently. I think that is very much a case of confidence. Like everyone my target is to be in the top 16 and winning tournaments, but you have to get there gradually and take it step by step.