Tour Champion Neil Robertson is raring to go for the upcoming Betfred World Championship after his fiancée Mille organised a surprise reunion with his father Ian.
Australia’s Robertson, who lives in Cambridge, has admitted to struggling with homesickness and missing his family since the turn of the year. However, being reunited with his father ahead of last week’s Cazoo Tour Championship has turned his outlook around.
A supreme showing last week saw him storm to the title at the Celtic Manor Resort, thrashing World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan 10-4 in the final.
The 2010 Crucible king even said during a tearful interview that things had previously got so bad that he had considered temporarily setting snooker aside and travelling home to Australia to be with his family.
Due to restrictions in Australia his father Ian, a UK national, hadn’t seen Robertson for two years. However, Mille managed to arrange for Ian to be allowed to travel home and be with his son. With the country opening up and life getting back to normal, Robertson has a refreshed perspective ahead of next month’s trip to the Crucible for snooker’s showpiece event.
Robertson explained: “Around January and February is the first time that I’ve actually felt that down since coming here in 2003. It’s the first time that I’ve felt homesick and I have been missing my family a lot. At the time, Australia weren’t letting anyone out of the country, so I thought it was probably going to be two and a half years before I saw my family again, which is such a long period of time. A lot of people have been talking about not seeing family for nine or ten months, but for me it has been two years and that is very tough. I guess one thing that was on my side is that I am already used to only seeing my family once a year.
“Mille did something amazing, which I didn’t know about. She saw me struggling and how much I was missing my family back home and she actually wrote a letter to Australia and got my dad over. At first they knocked it back, but she wrote a letter to the Australian Government. It is kind of a bit silly, but she mentioned my achievements and how much I missed my dad. I didn’t think I’d get emotional talking about it, but he arrived yesterday (last Sunday). I didn’t even know she had it planned. She is just an unbelievable person to do that for me. Going two years without seeing your family is tough. To see my dad again was unbelievable. Now it is a completely different mindset. I can’t wait to play and I can’t wait to play in the World Championship. It is just great to have my dad here now.
“I know I’m incredibly lucky to have that moment and see him again, I know I have to appreciate the situation I’m in. Where it was really dire a few weeks ago and I was thinking about going back to Australia and missing snooker for four or five months. My dad is here now and hopefully the next few weeks as we come out of lockdown the whole world can start to turn a corner. It’s given me a huge boost personally.”
Watch the emotional feature interview in full below:
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