Neil Robertson bounces back from the brink of defeat to win Dafabet Scottish Open
PUBLISHED: 07:01 20 December 2017
Perfect end to a difficult year for Cambridge potter
Has snooker ever had a more deserving winner of a title than Neil Robertson’s miraculous comeback victory at the Dafabet Scottish Open?
The past 12 months have been a battle for the former world No 1, a fight against the off-table issues that has seen wife Mille overcoming anxiety and depression, a duel against his decline in the world rankings and a monumental tussle in the final in Glasgow.
Robertson can say that he has been victorious on all those fronts.
Despite going into the match the strong favourite, the Cambridge-based potter found himself 8-4 down and one frame away from conceding one of the biggest upsets in recent memory to maiden ranking finalist Cao Yupeng.
But Robertson is a fighter and so he fought, climbing his way back into the match inch-by-inch, winning four frames in a row and then holding his nerve in the decider to triumph 9-8 in one of the great finals.
The 2010 world champion was almost tearful post-match, gracious in victory as he talked the crowd through how he had clawed his way back into the match and lifted the Stephen Hendry Trophy.
“I just thought if my hand’s on the table I’m going to go for a red no matter where it is, and thankfully I got a few and maybe it just put him under pressure,” he said. “It’s happened to everyone [Cao’s collapse], even Stephen Hendry’s missed balls under pressure so Cao can’t be disappointed with how he’s performed.
“For his first final it was an incredible effort and he was the better player today, he really was.
“It’s a fairytale ending, the fact that she [Mille] is getting better, I’m so proud of her and just thankful I could repay her tonight.”
Watch the Scottish Open live on Eurosport, Eurosport Player and Quest with Andy Goldstein and analysis from Jimmy White and Neal Foulds