Neil Robertson exits Dafabet Masters after defeat to Ronnie O’Sullivan

PUBLISHED: 21:55 19 January 2017 | UPDATED: 21:55 19 January 2017

DavidMuscroft

Cambridge ace makes Alexandra Palace exit

Neil Robertson admitted he was unable to find his rhythm as he succumbed to Ronnie O’Sullivan at the quarter-final stage of the Dafabet Masters at London’s Alexandra Palace.

The Cambridge-based Australian made the highest break of Thursday’s match, 74, to take the opening frame, but a bad run of the balls left him frustrated and unable to press on.

The 2012 Masters champions struck a 62 break to take a 3-2 lead but O’Sullivan took each of the next four frames to win 6-3, finishing with 68, his highest break of the quarter-final, to progress.

“Sometimes it’s a frustrating sport to play because these things happen, throughout a season they all even out but you don’t really think like that,” said Robertson.

“I wouldn’t say I struggled at all, I think I missed one ball that I really should have potted at three-each.

“When you go into the pack on 30, 40 or 50 and you’re not landing on a red you’re not putting your opponent under much pressure.

“What that did was prevented me getting any strong rhythm because if I land on a red going into the pack I make 100 suddenly I’m in full flow.”

O’Sullivan twice made half-centuries to take an early 2-1 lead but lost the next two before three more 50-plus breaks and a 47 saw him take four straight frames and the match.

And while neither player appeared to be at their best, the Rocket, who will face Marco Fu or Mark Allen in the semi-finals, was not short of luck, according to Robertson.

“Snooker is a game of great variables and you saw it at its absolute worse there because I went into the pack three or four times and when playing safe he’s had three of four massive flukes,” Robertson said.

“That’s just the game there wasn’t much I could do about it. I didn’t play badly to let him in for the chances.

“He had another one where he’s played safe and the red would have gone right over the hole and I would have had a chance to go 5-4.

“Obviously, he wasn’t at his ruthless best but I put him under pressure my long potting was very good and I looked very good in amongst the balls.

“I don’t think I played that badly to lose. When things like that happen you just have to take your medicine and move onto the next tournament.”

*Watch the London Masters LIVE on Eurosport 2, featuring daily studio analysis from Ronnie O’Sullivan, Jimmy White and Neal Foulds

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