Jones Stuns Robertson To Make Quarters
Jak Jones continued his dream Crucible debut with a 13-7 defeat of world number six Neil Robertson to make the last eight of the Cazoo World Championship in Sheffield.
World number 52 Jones is enjoying the best run of his career to date, having come through a perilous route to earn his place in the quarter-finals of snooker’s greatest event. The Welsh qualifier scored an impressive 10-8 Judgement Day defeat of 2013 Crucible runner-up Barry Hawkins to make the final stages. Jones then took full advantage of that victory by beating two-time World Championship finalist Ali Carter 10-6 in the opening round.
The guaranteed £50,000 prize for making the quarters far surpasses Jones’ previous biggest career payday of £13,500, for reaching the last 16 of the 2019 International Championship. He now faces player of the season so far Mark Allen for a place in the single table semi-finals. They kick off their last eight encounter on Tuesday morning at 10am.
Robertson’s recent woes in Sheffield continue and the quest to add to his solitary World Championship win in 2010 goes on. The Australian has proven himself as one of snooker’s greats since then, racking up a further 18 ranking titles to take his career total to 23. However, he has toiled at the Crucible and hasn’t made the semi-finals since 2014.
Jones led 10-6 going into the concluding session and looked set to extend his lead until he missed a red to a centre pocket on 53 in the opening frame today. Robertson took advantage with an 83 clearance, then had chances in frame 18, but crucially missed a mid-range yellow when he led 50-41, and Jones made an impressive colour clearance for 11-7.
In the 19th, Robertson led 33-15 when he missed an awkward red to a top corner. Jones countered with 47 and survived his opponent’s efforts to get the snooker he needed on the colours, to go 12-7 ahead. The Welshman then finished the contest in perfect style with a 138 total clearance, the highest break of the match.
“To beat Neil in the World Championship, in such a venue and in front of such a crowd is a big win,” said 29-year-old Jones. “I’m not the most outlandish or angry person in the world. None of my family are either. I just try to take everything as it comes and keep going.
“I’ve felt calm since the beginning. Before the tournament started, I didn’t have any idea how I was going to feel going out there. I was surprisingly calm and enjoyed it.
“I felt really good on the practice table ahead of yesterday’s evening session. It was nice to be able to take that out into the arena and perform well out there.
“Mark is the best player of the season and he is playing extremely well. Neil was playing extremely well too though and so was Ali Carter before the tournament. They are all very difficult matches, whoever I play. I will just try my best and see where it takes me.”
Robertson said: “It was a different test, the complete opposite style of play. He did all the simple things really well. I have played him before so I know how tough he is, and he has improved a lot as a player. His safety was incredible throughout the match. I put him in awkward positions and then I would come back to the table in a worse position.
“I couldn’t create the chances to make the frames open. I made it too easy for him – gave him too many easy openers. Today he was there for the taking, that’s what is disappointing. I made a good clearance to go 10-7, but then missed the yellow in the next frame. If I had gone 10-8 I probably wouldn’t have been favourite. He held himself together well and made a great break in the last frame. He will be a tough match for Mark Allen if he plays the way he did yesterday.”