Neil Robertson has secured his place at April’s China Open with a hard fought 6-4 win over Robin Hull at qualifying in Barnsley.
Robertson’s victory will taste extra sweet following last week’s announcement of a record breaking boost in prize money for the tournament, which will see the total prize fund reach £1 million.
Australia’s Robertson ended 2017 in style with a superb victory at the Scottish Open in Glasgow, where he won a thrilling final against Cao Yupeng 9-8, although he had dropped out of the top 16 a week earlier so missed the Masters at Alexandra Palace.
Robertson came quickly out of the blocks today, as he compiled runs of 76 and 126 on his way to establishing a 3-1 advantage. Finland’s Hull showed his fighting qualities after the interval and battled back to move within a frame, thanks to a century run of 122 which made it 4-3.
The Thunder from Down Under didn’t take his foot off the gas and further contributions of 76 and 77 were enough to see him over the line as a 6-4 victor.
Luca Brecel denied young Chinese star Zhao Xintong a place in the showpiece Beijing event with a 6-4 win. The Belgian Bullet top scored with a century run of 109 on his way to the win.
China’s 17-year-old Yan Bingtao continued his impressive season with a strong display to see off John Astley 6-2. The 2017 Northern Ireland Open finalist compiled breaks of 54, 56, 50 and 138 on his way to the win.
World number 24 David Gilbert defeated Billy Castle 6-3 to progress to Beijing. While 2016 Northern Ireland Open champion Mark King emerged a 6-2 winner against Leo Fernandez.
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