Neil Robertson reaches quarter-finals of the UK Championship
By Tom Harle
Neil Robertson was pleased to emerge victorious from a tough clash with Anthony McGill at the UK Championship.
The Cambridge-based potter advanced to the quarter-finals with a 6-4 comeback win over McGill.
Robertson began with an excellent 94 break to take the first frame but looked in danger of crashing out when the Scot rattled off a 127 run to go 4-2 ahead.
The 38-year-old responded in kind with 132 and capitalised on a glaring missed red from McGill in the seventh frame, winning the final four games to reach the last eight.
“It wasn't looking good at 4-3 but he missed a really easy red, and I was just happy to get the win in the end," said Robertson.
“I closed it out well, although throughout the match I was trying to be a little bit too precise, a little too perfect. That last frame felt like the kind of frame I like to win - getting the balls open early.
“Anthony gives you a real battle. He never downs tools and never gives in, so I always knew it was going to be tough."
Robertson will face a tough challenge in the quarters as he plays either three-time world champion Mark Selby or Barry Hawkins.
The Australian also addressed the issue of allowing crowds back to snooker, suggesting there was no point if they cannot clap and cheer.
In line with the government's plans to get fans back safely, World Snooker will welcome 1,000 fans per session into January's Masters tournament.
Government guidelines forbid crowds at indoor events from 'singing, shouting and chanting' as they transmit aerosols that can carry Covid-19.
But Robertson wants snooker buffs to feel free to lend their support to players at Alexandra Palace.
“Barry (Hearn, World Snooker chairman) will certainly be trying to get 1,000 fans in, following the guidelines as closely as possible,” said Robertson.
“The important thing is when you get crowds in, you don't want it to be like a quiet, golf club environment.
“You want the crowd to feel safe that they can cheer, express themselves and create a good atmosphere for the players.
“You don't want 200 people scattered around, too scared to clap or cheer their favourite player. That's really important, and World Snooker have plenty of time to make it happen.”
Only the top 16 ranked players in the world qualify for the Masters and Robertson's place at the Triple Crown event is guaranteed as world number four.