Neil Robertson chalks up 20th career ranking title by winning Cazoo Tour Championship
Neil Robertson clinched a 20th career ranking title by beating Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final of the Cazoo Tour Championship at the Celtic Manor Resort.
The Cambridge-based cueman signed off the last calendar year in top form, winning the UK Championship, but had not been able to repeat that success in the second half of the season, with just a solitary win and not taking part in the Scottish or Welsh Opens.
But those decisions reaped rewards in Wales last week, as he took the top prize by beating O’Sullivan 10-4 in the final.
“Considering the opposition, it is the best I’ve played in a final,” Robertson told World Snooker.
“The Champion of Champions final with Judd Trump was up there, but that was a more complete performance. I didn’t really miss anything in the whole match. It is very pleasing knowing I’m capable of doing that going into the World Championship.
“I was just in the zone from the get go. It was somewhat made easier because I knew my preparation was really good.
“This week it was all about putting a lot of things in place so I could have the best chance of winning the World Championship as possible. That was about playing every match and session on my terms.
“It’s only going to motivate Ronnie more in the World Championship. He is going to be going there so determined. He may not say it, but that is going to really annoy him and fire him up. I feel sorry for whoever he is going to play in the first couple of rounds.”
It is the first time that Robertson has beaten O'Sullian in a match extending over more than one session.
They were tied 4-4 after the first session, but Robertson dominated in the evening, with breaks of 93, 75, 123 and 119.
It gave him an 8-4 mid-session, and he completed the victory with a break of 114.
Robertson's performance drew praise from O’Sullivan, who said: “I’ve never seen anyone play as well as that. His cue action is just ridiculous, straight through the ball, tempo doesn’t change and he opens his back hand like nobody else.
"It was unbelievable. He made it look like he was playing on a pool table today.
"I can’t compete with that. I just had to sit back and enjoy it. That was amazing play.”