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Neil Robertson upbeat despite defeat to Judd Trump in ‘brilliant’ English Open final

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Neil Robertson. Picture: DerHexer, Wikimedia Commons, CC-by-sa 4.0 (42789698)
Neil Robertson. Picture: DerHexer, Wikimedia Commons, CC-by-sa 4.0 (42789698)

By Will Jennings

Neil Robertson reckons his deciding-frame defeat in an English Open classic against Judd Trump has left him in his best state of mind after losing a final.

The Cambridge cueman went down 9-8 in a thrilling duel in Milton Keynes as a final-frame break of 114 from world No 1 Trump earned an 18th ranking event title.

World No 3 Robertson led 7-4 but an unfortunate kick in the 14th frame, coupled with Trump’s brilliance, dashed his hopes of a third Home Nations title at the Marshall Arena.

But 18-time major winner Robertson, who made the highest break of the competition with a mesmerising quarter-final 140, says Sunday’s late heartbreak will not hit him hard.

“I feel really good and strangely enough it’s probably the best I’ve felt after losing a final,” the 38-year-old said.

“He really had to earn it and I didn’t throw it away at any point.

“I think that we were both bringing the best out of each other but he made a brilliant break in the decider and a fantastic century.

“The World Championship final was a disaster for me and I lost in the quarter-final completely against the way I want to play the game.

“I was very determined this season that whatever match I’m involved in, I want to play it on my terms.

“All you can do is put in the hours of practice and the best preparation you can do leading into a tournament and when somebody beats you, make them earn it.

“At eight each, Judd’s won it and didn’t do anything wrong. I can’t be gutted or disappointed, because we’ve both played our part in a brilliant, brilliant final.”

In a clash for the ages at the Marshall Arena, the pair exchanged blow after blow in a helter-skelter affair.

Trump held a 3-1 lead at the mid-session interval but a rejuvenated Robertson hit back as breaks of 75, 128 and 61 turned the tables to make it 4-4 at the break.

Robertson came out like a man on a mission once more, striking visits of 56, 75 and a majestic 114 to place him just two frames from victory, but Trump replied to lead 8-7.

A brilliant 125 from Robertson teed up a decider but Trump made a 114 to give him a 10th successive win in a major final.

Robertson scooped a brilliant hat-trick of ranking event titles last season but is yet to get off the mark this campaign. However, he reckons short-term momentum is crucial when it comes to holding silverware aloft.

“It’s great to be competing – it’s just about setting short-term goals and the titles kind of come with that,” he added.

“The titles come as a consequence of working hard and applying yourself the best you can.

“I don’t really set out and try to win two, or three – once you win a title then that’s great, but then you’ve got to try and build on that.

“My game’s in fantastic shape and I’m very positive moving forward.”

*Watch the snooker English Open live on Eurosport, Eurosport app and Quest

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