With the snooker World Championships just around the corner, Melbourne’s Neil Robertson continued his preparations in style with a 10-5 victory over Barry Hawkins in the Players Championship.
A man in form
Robertson also won the English Open back in November and will be hoping to carry his form into the showpiece event in Sheffield, which gets underway on 16 April. His latest victory included four century breaks and five more of 50 plus to earn him a cheque for £125,000.
Few players have had a season like Robertson who shows no sign of losing his form at 40 years of age. He will be one of the players to watch at the Crucible and one of the top picks for the big prize in the snooker betting online, where he is priced at odds of 5/1 to come out on top. However, England’s Judd Trump remains the favourite for now. Robertson’s form will make him a hot pick in the snooker betting tips alongside the likes of Mark Selby, Judd Trump, and John Higgins.
Snooker’s most successful Australian
Robertson remains one of only two Australians to have claimed the sport’s most prestigious prize having beaten Scotland’s Graeme Dott 18-13 in 2010. The other Aussie winner was Horace Lindrum who picked up the crown in 1952 after beating New Zealander Clark McConachy 94-49 in a match that lasted nearly two weeks. They were the only two entrants after the other professionals boycotted the event following a dispute over pay. Lindrum was also a world runner-up on three occasions, losing to the legendary Joe Davis each time.
Robertson has also reached two world semi-finals and six further quarterfinals. He remains the only Australian to have won an official modern ranking event and is also the only competitor from outside the United Kingdom to have won all of snooker’s Triple Crown events having won the World Championship plus the Masters (2012 and 2022) and the UK Championship (2013, 2015 and 2020). He has won close to £10 million in prize money in his 24 years as a professional. As well as being Australia’s most successful snooker player, he is also one of the country’s most successful sportsmen of all time.
More work to be done
Before he begins his world championship quest, Robertson has one more ranking event to tackle – the inaugural Turkish Masters, which gets underway on 7 March in Antalya. His opening game is a mandatory qualifier against the Ukrainian, Iulian Boiko. That match will take place at the Nirvana hotel on the opening day. All the top seeds will be present except for Ronnie O’Sullivan who has opted out following a financial dispute.
Robertson is currently tied with Judd Trump on 22 ranking titles with only five players (Mark Williams, Steve Davis, John Higgins, Stephen Hendry, and Ronnie O’Sullivan) having won more. If he continues with his current form, he could overtake a few more names on that list in the next couple of years.