Record Breaking Robertson Thrashes Wu
Australia’s Neil Robertson put on a stunning performance to beat Chinese debutant Wu Yize 10-3 at the Cazoo World Championship and become the first ever player to craft two 146 breaks in a single match.
The feat is made all the more impressive by the fact that 146 breaks are incredibly rare. There have only been six in Crucible history and today is the first time Robertson has ever made one.
That will act as no consolation for Ryan Day, who made a 146 in qualifying. Robertson is now in line to take £10,000 of the £15,000 high break pot, which counts breaks made in both qualifying and the final stages.
Robertson arrives at the Crucible especially sharp, having committed to a regimented practice regime over recent weeks. That has been overseen by his father Ian, who has flown over from Australia. World number six Robertson has had more time to work at his game away from the match arena in the second half of the campaign, after failing to qualify and defend his titles at the Players Championship and Tour Championship.
The Crucible hasn’t been the happiest of hunting grounds for 2010 World Champion Robertson in recent years. He’s not made the single table semi-finals since 2014. He arrived in Sheffield as the pre-tournament favourite last year, but his form this season allowed him to come in under the radar. Today’s spectacular showing acts as a reminder of the 23-time ranking event winner’s title credentials.
Wu can look back on a fine qualifying campaign, which saw him win three matches to make the final stages. He also crafted back-to-back century runs of 107 in yesterday’s first session to showcase his talent and stay in touch at 6-3.
When play began today, Robertson pulled clear of 19-year-old Wu. The Melbourne cueman took the opener with a break of exactly 100, before firing in the first of his 146 breaks in the 11th to lead 8-3. A run of 58 helped him to move further ahead and the Thunder from Down Under got over the line in spectacular style, with his record breaking second 146 break. Next up for Robertson is a second round meeting with Ali Carter or Jak Jones.
“That’s the best I’ve played here. For sure. Different types of opponents can change how you perform. He was very attacking so it was very open, but regardless of who I play, the frame is always going to be very open,” said 41-year-old Robertson.
“I talked up my preparation coming in, saying it’s the best it’s ever been. It showed that to be the case. You can’t always play like that, you need the good splits to go your way, but my preparation is built upon finishing the frame off in one visit and I did that really well.
“I’ve been practising in multiple sessions every day. I’ve never done that before. Usually I just go to the club in the morning to play, then go home. Now I’m practising in the morning, going home and then coming back to do another session. The first few times it was actually very tough, because I wasn’t used to it. Once I built up that mental stamina it was fine and coming here was not as much of an issue.
“The way I played this afternoon was pretty much flawless, so I’m really happy with that, but I’d like to give a special mention to Wu. He is a tremendous young talent. If he was playing a seed that wasn’t playing as well as I was, he would have caused them problems.”
On the other table, world number 27 Jimmy Robertson battled to a 5-4 lead over three-time Crucible king Mark Williams following their opening session of play.
The pair met five years ago in the 2018 opening round, where Welshman Williams prevailed 10-5 on his way to claiming the title. Robertson is still seeking his first ever Crucible match win, but has made a promising start to this tie.
Williams took a scrappy first this afternoon, before unexpectedly missing a straight pink in the second to allow Robertson to restore parity at 1-1. Despite having trailed 69-0 in the fourth, Robertson cleared with a gutsy 74 to steal on the black and move 2-1 ahead. It was 24-time ranking event winner Williams who then took the fourth to head into the mid-session level at 2-2.
When play resumed the following four frames were traded, with Williams firing in a break of 118 to make it 4-4. However, it was Robertson who took the last on the colour to end 5-4 ahead. They will return tomorrow afternoon at 2:30pm and play to a conclusion.