Neil Robertson scored his seventh consecutive win over Mark Selby, winning 5-2 to book his place in the semi-finals of the BetVictor Scottish Open in Edinburgh.
The last time Selby conquered Robertson was back at the 2020 World Championship, where he came through in the quarter-finals. Since then, 2010 Crucible King Robertson has embarked on a relentless streak against Selby, building a 17-8 lead in the head-to-head.
Robertson is aiming to pick up the Stephen Hendry Trophy for a second time this weekend. He was Scottish Open champion in 2017, when an extraordinary comeback in the final gave him the title. The Australian rallied from 8-4 down against China’s Cao Yupeng to win 9-8.
Selby is a two-time winner of the Scottish Open, having claimed the title in his first two appearances in 2019 and 2020. However, the four-time World Champion will have to settle for a spot in the last eight this time around.
Melbourne cueman Robertson put on a devastating display in the early stages this evening. Breaks of 133, 99 and 83 saw the Thunder from Down Under storm to a 3-0 lead. There was little Selby could do in the face of the Robertson blitz. However, he showed his typical steel with a break of 104 to head into the mid-session two behind at 3-1.
A run of exactly 100 saw Robertson re-establish his three frame cushion upon the resumption. Selby replied with 105 to stay alive at 4-2, but Robertson got over the line with 60 in the seventh to end a 5-2 winner. He now faces Joe O’Connor in tomorrow’s semi-finals over the best of 11 frames.
Robertson said: “The overall standard was fantastic from both of us. It was one of those matches where I seemed to be able to create the opportunity to have a look at a long ball. I was very accurate from range tonight and clinical when I knocked in the long reds. The momentum was always with me and I was very happy with how I played.
“There have been a few deciders (in his recent run against Selby) where we’ve both played brilliantly. A semi-final at the Champion of Champions comes to mind. There were a few final frames that could have gone either way if he got the first chance. It doesn’t mean too much. I don’t think top players look at the head to head.
“It would be nice to get the title. Winning the mixed doubles was great. Every top player just wants to win something. You don’t really care where it comes from or when it is. Now I want to push on and add more titles to the collection. In the next match I want to play really well and see where it leaves me.”
O’Connor earned his semi-final slot with an impressive 5-1 demolition of three-time ranking event winner Ricky Walden.
The Leicester cueman will appear in his second ranking semi tomorrow evening. The first came at the 2019 Welsh Open, where he was beaten by Stuart Bingham.
O’Connor fired in breaks of 127 and 81 on his way to this tonight’s win. Afterwards he admitted it would be a dream to win tomorrow evening.
O’Connor said: “It would mean everything to make the final. I’ve practised all these hours for God knows how many years now just to get a chance at winning a title. Hopefully I can play well again and have a chance.
“I looked over a couple of times tonight and Neil was clearing up. He looked like he was palying well. It was nothing different to what I would expect from Neil. I’m just going to concentrate on my own game and hopefully that’s good enough.”
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