Neil Robertson became the third player ranked among the world’s top four to be knocked out of the Betway UK Championship before the quarter-finals as he was hammered 6-1 by Yan Bingtao.
World number four Robertson followed Judd Trump (one) and Mark Williams (three) on the road out of York after being outplayed by China’s 19-year-old rising star Yan. The talented teenager, who won his first ranking title at the Riga Masters earlier this season, goes through to face John Higgins on Friday.
Yan was making his first appearance in the last 16 of a Triple Crown event but looked at ease from the start against two-time UK Champion Robertson. Breaks of 66, 74 and 56 helped give him a 5-0 lead.
Australia’s Robertson was in danger of being white-washed when he trailed by 49 points on the last red in frame six, but he got the snookers he needed and cleared the table to avoid that ignominy. But there would be no fight-back as the seventh frame came down to a battle on the final black and Yan’s long pot sealed the result.
“My game wasn’t perfect but my potting was good,” said Yan, who has acquired the nickname the Chinese Tiger this week. “Once I was 4-0 up I played a more strategic game and didn’t give Neil many chances.
“John Higgins is very good under pressure. I will have to score well or hope he has a bad day.”
Robertson said: “He’s in the mould of a giant-killer, he’s extremely dangerous. I saw him dismantle Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-1 in a match in China (at the 2017 International Championship).
“He played really well tonight. His safety was awesome and he kept getting in first, I stuck in there but didn’t take enough of my chances.
“It gives me a few extra days to prepare for the Scottish Open so hopefully I can do well there and finish the year on a high.”
Liang Keeps Brave Run Going
Liang Wenbo’s remarkable progress in the tournament continued as he beat Li Hang 6-4 in a Chinese derby. Liang’s mother died at the age of 56 last Tuesday and he flew to China after his first round tie to attend the funeral. Since returning to York he has won three more matches.
Li made a 136 in taking a 2-1 lead tonight then Liang, who was runner-up to Robertson at this event in 2015, took four frames in a row with top breaks of 57, 69 and 104. Li pulled two back before Liang clinched victory in frame ten with an 83. He left the arena in tears, overcome with emotion.