Neil Robertson wraps up triple crown with williamhill.com UK Snooker Championship triumph in York (From York Press)
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Neil Robertson wraps up triple crown with williamhill.com UK Snooker Championship triumph in York
NEIL ROBERTSON admitted to choking up as he contemplated his place in snooker’s history books after beating Mark Selby 10-7 to win the williamhill.com UK Championship in York.
The world number one said the second session of the match, where he recovered from a 5-3 deficit, was “the best I have ever played in a final”.
And he declared his pride at becoming only the eighth player, and the first from overseas, to get his hands on all three of the game’s major titles – the World Championship, the Masters and the UK.
Robertson said of that feat: “It is probably the most emotional I have ever been. It is the first time I have won a tournament and had some tears in my eyes.
“To win all three – I get to join the really big boys. That’s really exciting. I had a really great sense of pride the way I came back from 5-1 behind.”
Robertson joined a list of names including the likes of Alex Higgins and Steve Davis to have achieved the triple crown and said he entered the arena for the evening in front of a huge crowd at the Barbican with a “really positive frame of mind”. “I had to be a little more aggressive,” he said. “I had to pick up the pace and it worked perfectly.”
Even though he surged into the lead at 8-6 from his huge deficit, Robertson believed a key point in the match came when Selby missed a black ball which would have tied up the contest at 8-8.
“He got the white and black ball cleaned and I thought maybe that gave him some time for negative thoughts to get into his head,” he said. “When you play that shot you aim for the far jaw because the black usually turns in a bit.
“He must have played it too thin. I couldn’t believe it. As soon as it caught the knuckle I thought ‘hang on at minute’. And everyone was just in shock. It was like when Steve Davis missed his against Dennis Taylor in ’85.
“I came to the table and thought ‘just pot the thing. Don’t get the long stuff out just play it right handed’.”
Robertson continued: “At 9-7, I was really confident. I got that one good chance. I potted a fantastic long red to get in and another tough red and I am over the moon to have won all three titles now.”
Selby, meanwhile, said his performance wasn’t good enough to retain the title he won in the Minster city 12 months ago.
But he added: “I have got to take the positives – I got to the final of the UK, the second biggest tournament in the game, and I didn’t play well.
“I feel I had more than enough chances to win the match. The last two frames (before the end of the afternoon session) were key. If I come out at 6-2, it is a big difference.”
Asked about that black, Selby added: “Anything that was tricky, I didn’t feel comfortable or confident.
“It was just one of those games. Sometimes you don’t feel you can miss anything, other days you feel like you can’t pot anything. This was one of those days.”
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