Duelbits Players Championship 2023 | Wolverhampton

Robertson Fight Back Stuns Selt

Neil Robertson came from 5-2 down to beat Matthew Selt 6-5 and reach the last 16 of the OPPO International Championship in Daqing.

World number 41 Selt took the opening frame on a respotted black and later made breaks of 60 and 71 to go 5-2 ahead. But he missed chances to close out victory as former World Champion Robertson recovered.

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Back-to-back centuries, 129 and 117, got Australia’s Robertson back to 5-4 then he dominated frame ten to force the decider.

Selt made 41 before missing the black when trying to split the pack, and his opponent clawed his way back into the frame. It came down to the last red, and Robertson got the better of a safety battle then cleared the table to set up a meeting with Robbie Williams.

“Matt is one of my best friends so it was a tough match to play,” said world number seven Robertson. “I managed to get going from 5-2 down and in the end it was a dramatic finish. I have been pretty unlucky this season so far so hopefully this is the sign of things turning round.”

Robertson recalled losing his temper during this tournament last year because he couldn’t play video games as the internet connection was not strong enough. “That was when I realised I had to give up video games because it was affecting my snooker,” he said. “I haven’t played them for a year now. Instead I do Warhammer, just painting my figures in my hotel room in between matches.”

China’s 17-year-old Yan Bingtao followed up yesterday’s win over Ronnie O’Sullivan by beating Ricky Walden 6-4. From 5-1 up, Yan lost three frames in a row before finishing the job in the tenth.

Martin Gould won a high quality match against Kyren Wilson by a 6-5 scoreline. Wilson led 4-0 then Gould won the next five frames with top breaks of 104, 91 and 128. A career-first 147 from Wilson made is 5-5, only for Gould to take the decider. A break of 70 put the Londoner in control and Wilson’s chance ended when he missed a double on the third-last red on 22.

“I nicked a frame to go 4-1 and then everything started going in,” said Gould. “At 5-5 I was pleased to get first chance and I made a good 70. Hopefully I can take this form forward.”

Wilson said: “Martin played very well from 4-0. At 5-4 the balls spread nicely so I decided to go for a 147. I would have been more gutted to miss the black on 140 than I am to lose the match. Making a 147 is something every professional wants to do, so to make my first is a relief.”

Judd Trump was also in marvellous break building form as he came from 2-0 down to beat Jimmy Robertson 6-3 with top runs of 135, 66, 127, 79, 59 and 72. And Ali Carter made three centuries in a 6-1 win over Stephen Maguire, knocking in 136, 106 and 128.

World Champion Mark Selby saw off Tom Ford 6-4 in a Leicester derby. Ford came from 4-1 down to 4-4 only for Selby to win the last two frames.

The match took place on the 18th anniversary of Selby’s father’s death. “My head was not with it from the word go,” said Selby. “On a day like this it was always going to be hard. My father never saw me play as a professional but I’m sure he’s looking down. I was trying to stay positive and dig in when I needed to.

“I need to play better to have a chance of winning the tournament because there are still a lot of great players in it.”

John Higgins beat Dominic Dale 6-2 with a top break of 63 while Shaun Murphy top scored with 123 in a 6-1 win over Zhang Yong.

Mark Allen came from 5-3 down to beat Mark King 6-5, making breaks of 51, 50 and 92 in the last three frames. The Pistol said: “I was struggling for most of the match so from 5-3 I just tried not to miss anything easy. I’ve lost a few deciders this season so to win one is a massive confidence boost.”

Jack Lisowski continued his fine recent form as he beat Xiao Guodong 6-4 with top runs of 102 and 116.

World number 63 Robbie Williams scored a surprise 6-3 win over Joe Perry, while Mark Joyce enjoyed a 6-2 success against China Championship winner Luca Brecel.

Mark Williams made a 121 as he won a Welsh derby against Ryan Day 6-2. There were also wins for Liang Wenbo, Robert Milkins and Martin O’Donnell.

Click here for Wednesday’s last 16 line up