Neil Robertson gets the better of Robbie Williams in Betway UK Championship
It was a case of job done for 2010 world champion Neil Robertson, as he booked his spot in the third round of the Betway UK Championship at the York Barbican.
The 37-year-old Cambridge-based potter had cruised through his tournament opener with a 6-0 thrashing of Maltese veteran Alex Borg, but found the going somewhat tougher against world No 61 Robbie Williams in round two.
Having lost the opening frame, Robertson recovered to go 3-1 up and looked on course for a routine win, but Williams rallied and kept the game alive until a break of 63 pushed the Australian over the line in the 10th.
And while Robertson was pleased with elements of his game - including a fourth-frame century - he admitted he has plenty to work on ahead of his last 32 tie with Mark King.
He said: “It’s one of those games where you take the win and move on. I was almost cruising, and I think I let my concentration wander to the other tables, which is never a good place to be.
“I was watching the other matches between Robbie’s shots, I lost focus and I found it hard to recover from that. That was why I made so many mistakes.
“I was pleased with the break I made in the final frame to finish the game off and I wasn’t awful, but by the standards I’ve set this season - winning the Champion of Champions - it was a bit of a sloppy performance.”
Victory for Robertson sees him reach round three of the first Triple Crown event of the season for the third year in a row, as he looks to add to his two previous UK Championship crowns.
And while he admitted he wasn’t at his best against Williams, he is confident his overall game is where it needs to be as he looks to delve into the competition’s latter stages.
He said: “I feel great and my game’s in fantastic shape. In the early rounds you don’t tend to see the best of the top players until a bit later on, and you almost want to save your best until the business end of the tournament if you can.
“My safety was pretty average but my shot selection was still very good. It’s good to now have a day off, rectify some issues and then hopefully play a lot better as the tournament progresses.”
*Watch the UK Championship live on Eurosport and Eurosport Player with analysis from Ronnie O’Sullivan and Jimmy White.