Phil Haigh ✍️
Neil Robertson admits he felt for John Higgins after producing a monumental comeback to win the Tour Championship on Sunday night, knowing the veteran would be hurting afterwards.
Higgins was in total command of the final in Llandudno, leading 9-4 in a race to 10 frames and looking superb, but he tailed off as the Australian got stronger.
The Thunder from Down Under reeled off six frames on the spin to defend his title in the most unlikely manner, with the Scot missing a number of chances to get over the line.
Robertson even handed Higgins a glorious opportunity in the deciding frame when he took on an ill-advised plant to leave his opponent in the balls, but the Wizard immediately missed a straight forward red as he struggled for composure.
A ruthless winner, Robertson was never going to struggle to pot the balls he needed to win, but he did admit that he felt for his fallen opponent afterwards, who has now lost in fie big finals this season, three of which he had a substantial lead in.
‘Yeah I felt for him because at 9-4 he was playing superb snooker and he looked the only winner at that point,’ Robertson told WST.
‘I wasn’t making that many mistakes, he was just playing unbelievably well.
‘That one will hurt because he got kind of a chance. But then again he missed a yellow to win 10-6, or something, and it’s just not gone in. Landed dead straight on the red when there’s two reds left, with an angle he probably clears up.
‘He was really unlucky at certain times, but that’s what you need to be able to come back into the match.
‘I feel for him big time, because he’s such a fantastic person, a wonderful player.
‘He’ll bounce back and I think that he’ll use that for determination for the World Championship, like he always does.’
Higgins was clearly feeling the loss, as the frustrating season continues after Northern Ireland Open, English Open, Champion of Champions and Scottish Open final defeats.
It was the red in the final frame that was bothering him. A miss which he felt was ‘unforgiveable’.
‘Every credit to Neil, he came back and put me under unbelievable pressure. I just never stood up to it at the end,’ said the four-time world champion.
‘It is unforgivable, you cannot miss that red when you have the chance to get a few points on the board.
‘What can you say? But no, he played amazing stuff to come back at me. What can you do? There’s worse things happening in life, isn’t there?’
Robertson defended the Tour Championship, becoming the first player to win the event twice, while he takes his title tally to four this season, also winning the Masters, English Open and Players Championship.
Undoubtedly the player of the season at this point, he heads to the World Championship this month as the man in form and with every chance of winning a second Crucible title.
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