Neil Robertson won the first ranking title of the 2018/19 season by beating Jack Lisowski 5-2 in the final of the Kaspersky Riga Masters.
Australia’s 36-year-old Robertson collected the trophy and a cheque for £50,000 after winning six matches in the Latvian capital.
World number ten Robertson brings his career tally of ranking titles to 14, joining Mark Selby in joint-sixth place on the all-time list.
Last month Robertson revealed he was full of optimism for the new season, having changed cue for the first time in 20 years, and he couldn’t have made a better start to the campaign. He becomes the first player to win the title in Riga twice, having lifted the trophy in 2016.
Lisowski made it to the final of a ranking event for the first time in his career, notably beating Graeme Dott 4-0 in the quarter-finals and Stephen Maguire 5-1 in the semis earlier in the day. But the 27-year-old from Gloucestershire was no match for Robertson in the final.
Former World Champion Robertson won the first two scrappy frames, then made a superb break of 117 to go 3-0 ahead. Lisowski pulled one back and had chances in frame five, but Robertson cleared from the last red for 4-1.
The sixth went to Lisowski and again he had chances in frame seven, but Robertson got the better of a safety exchange on the last red and went on to seal victory.
”It was a tough final, we both played fantastic to get there but then we struggled tonight because the balls ran awkward,” said Robertson, who has won at least one tournament in every year since 2006. “I really had to use my experience. Jack will learn a lot from this, he will win many titles because he is such a talented player and it’s good to see his game coming on.
”I want to build on this and win multiple tournaments this season. I’m really enjoying playing at the moment.”
Lisowski said: “It’s a step in the right direction for me. I’m just disappointed to put on a display like that in the final. It was the first time I had played on the match table and I couldn’t adapt to it.
“I scored very heavily all week and barely missed a ball. Then in the final I missed a straight pink in the first frame and that unsettled me straight away.”
Earlier in the semis, Robertson scored a 5-0 win over Stuart Carrington, who reached the last four of a ranking event for the first time.
The next tournament is the Yushan World Open in China, running from August 6-12.