Neil and Mille with Alexander and Penelope.
Last year’s losing finalist Neil Robertson will be hoping to go one step better this year in Milton Keynes, when he takes to the baize for just the second time as a married man at the BetVictor English Open.
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Robertson tied the knot to long-time partner Mille back in August. They have two children together called Alexander and Penelope and got married at Café Royale in London.
The Australian says it is a day he will never forget, but admits it was an occasion which provided a different sort of nerves to those experienced on the snooker table.
Robertson said: “It was wonderful. Usually for big tournaments and things I’m pretty calm, but this is a different kind of pressure. So many things are out of your control. You just hope that the day goes all according to plan and there isn’t anything like electricity cutting out in the building. Any kind of thing that you literally have no control over gets you nervous. Thankfully it all went according to plan and the weather held up.
“I just shot from the hip in my speech. I didn’t have any notes or anything written down. I wanted to speak from how I had absorbed the day. I’m quite used to doing that because of interviews and media duties at the snooker. It was quite funny, I didn’t know that this was happening, but some of Mille’s Norwegian friends had this trophy made up for me. Before my speech they presented me it to replicate what it is normally like when I speak in front of people. After a tournament you get a trophy and start talking. That was really nice and helped break the ice before I started speaking.
“We went out into the middle of the road on Regent Street for the photos and the photographer actually told us that there would be a bus on the side in one of the shots. Me and Mille’s friend were holding the dress to make sure she wouldn’t be swept away by the bus. We actually asked the photographer if it was a good idea to be standing there, but he said yes and that it was an amazing shot that we would never get the chance to do again. The shot spoke for itself and a lot of people have been raving on about it which was great. Those photographs are so important and it was amazing to get them. Those are the things that you can always look back on to remember the day.”
On the baize, last year’s English Open final saw Robertson surrender a 7-4 advantage and eventually lose a thrilling encounter with world number one Judd Trump 9-8.
The pair have developed an almost era defining rivalry in recent years, with classic contest after classic contest in title matches. Their last four encounters have been in finals and three of them have gone to deciding frames. Robertson won their most recent meeting in the UK Championship final 10-9.
“It is crazy. Whenever Judd and I face each other in a final it always seems to go right down to the wire with massive amounts of drama. I’ve been on the receiving end of some tough defeats and likewise for him against me,” said 39-year-old Robertson.
“We seem to bring out the best in each other and the best kind of drama for the sport. The way we both play you’d expect one to get on top and blow the other away, but that doesn’t seem to happen.”