Neil Robertson insisted he feels “no fatigue” and is determined to keep riding his wave of form after an exciting 4-3 win over Michael Holt in the first round of the Coral World Grand Prix.
Robertson has now won 14 of his last 15 matches in ranking events, a run which has given him the European Masters title. His only defeat came against Judd Trump in the German Masters final last Sunday.
After returning from Berlin yesterday he headed to Cheltenham for the first event in the Coral Series and kept his momentum going with a hard-fought win over Holt.
A break of 78 gave Australia’s Robertson the opening frame before Holt hit back with 79 and 122 to lead 2-1. Runs of 65 and 69 from Robertson gave him the next two then Holt took the sixth for 3-3.
Early in the decider, Holt was faced with a tricky safety and left it several inches short of the baulk cushion. Robertson whistled in a trademark long red to set up a match-winning contribution of 79.
“Michael played flawless snooker to go 2-1 up and he was brave in his shot selection,” said 37-year-old Robertson, who now meets Mark Williams or Barry Hawkins in the last 16. “I enjoy those kind of matches and I’m glad I could respond.
“I have had a great couple of weeks and I hope I can keep it going, I don’t feel any fatigue. It’s just good to be playing at a high level. These Coral events are special because you are always up against top players so you have to be up for every match.”
Donaldson Continues Ding Hoodoo
Scott Donaldson beat Ding Junhui 4-0 and has now knocked the Chinese ace out of each of the last three tournaments. Showing the most consistent form of his career, Scotland’s Donaldson has climbed to 22nd in the official world rankings and a deep run this week will boost his hopes of qualifying for the 16-man Coral Players Championship later this month.
Ding lost to Donaldson 5-2 at the European Masters and 5-4 at the German Masters
The first three frames all came down to the colours, and each of them went Donaldson’s way. The third in fact was settled on a respotted black when the Perthshire Potter thumped it into a baulk corner. That gave him the confidence to seal victory in the next with a break of 81.
“The two previous wins over Ding were more pleasing because I actually played some good stuff,” said 25-year-old Donaldson. “I was quite disappointed with how I played there, I missed so many balls. Ding let me off the hook in every frame. If he was on his game he would have beaten me 4-0 easily, so for me to win 4-0 is just ridiculous.
“The more experience I get on the TV table the more I can adjust and work out why I’m missing these shots. Moments like these can happen if you use your brain properly and just keep going. I’m happy where I am but that performance has shaken me a little bit. I’ve had plenty of times where I’ve played terrible and then gone and played great snooker.”
Joe Perry scored a 4-2 win over Masters runner-up Ali Carter. Perry took the first three frames with a top break of 106 and eventually sealed victory in the sixth with excellent pots on the pink and black. Graeme Dott top scored with 76 in a 4-1 win over Kurt Maflin.