Phil Haigh ✍️
Neil Robertson had no complaints whatsoever after defeat to Jack Lisowski at the Crucible, saying that the World Snooker Championship holds no fears for him despite another early exit.
The Thunder from Down Under was edged out in an epic Crucible classic as Lisowski pinched the second round match 13-12, despite the Australian making a 147 break along the way.
Jackpot was superb and there was no shame at all in losing to him, but it did extend Robertson’s surprisingly poor record in Sheffield, which has seen him reach just one semi-final since he lifted the world title in 2010.
The 40-year-old came to South Yorkshire this year as tournament favourite after a superb season, but still could not make it back to the one-table set-up.
He insists there is no mental issue developing with coming to the Crucible, though, pointing to the fact that he played perfectly well against Lisowski, just narrowly came up short.
The free-flowing attacking spirit of the game actually left Robertson in a pretty good mood, or as good as it could be after a World Championship defeat.
‘If I had fears coming here I would have played awful in the match,’ he said. ‘It was an unbelievable match, so when you look at it like that it’s no problem losing.
‘It’s just when you lose when the matches aren’t on your terms. That’s probably the first time I’ve lost to what you would call an out-and-out attacking player since I lost to Ronnie [O’Sullivan] in 2012.
‘All the other times I’ve lost to guys who’ve made it really, really tough for me. Tried to make it scrappy, really fight and stay in frames. This is the best mood I’ve been in since I lost to Ronnie in the quarters in 2012, I think. So no complaints whatsoever.’
A one-time world champion is something incredible and it only illustrates how highly Robertson is thought of that many are surprised he has not added more world titles to his collection.
He would, of course, love to, but he is not about to beat himself up about the fact he is yet to be a multiple world champ.
‘Look, if I only win it once, you look at my record, how could I possibly complain about my career?’ Robertson said. ‘When you look at so many players struggling just to stay on the tour.
‘A bit like the situation where Pep Guardiola keeps getting asked how come he’s not won the Champions League with [Manchester] City.
‘I’ve had an unbelievable career, achieved everything that I never could have dreamed of 100 times over, so it’s not an issue for me coming here.’
The current Masters champ also had no complaints with the venue, having said that he finds it too small to play in properly in the past.
‘No not at all,’ he said. ‘I set up my club with some barstools in a line to replicate the kind of distance you have. I hardly ever touched the walls in and around so I was really happy with my preparation. There was absolutely no problems at all.’
An all-round classy way to lose a big match, Robertson added of the victor: ‘Jack played the match of his life. It was an incredible match and it was played in the right way. I’ve got nothing but praise for Jack because he just handled himself really well.’
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