Neil Robertson may have exited the World Open in the last 32 stage on Wednesday but it has been a more than respectable start to the 2018/19 season for the Australian.
The 36 year-old fell in a 5-3 defeat to Ricky Walden in Yushan but must surely be happy with his overall return to form, which was kickstarted in his impressive triumph in the Riga Masters a couple of weeks ago.
That marked an incredible fourth time in the last six campaigns that the former world number one has began a new term with a ranking event success but it is Robertson’s power scoring that has once again got everyone whispering.
With a brace of tons made during his loss to Walden, the fifth time already in just two tournaments played that Robertson has compiled at least two hundreds in a match, the Melbourne man’s early season centuries tally is already up to a staggering 14.
To put that into some context, his total is nine centuries more than any other player on the Main Tour has made at this point and is just shy of a fifth of the way to the target of 74 set by Ronnie O’Sullivan during the last campaign.
Of course, Robertson’s heavy scoring will obviously invoke memories of his unbelievable century of centuries achievement during the 2013/14 season.
On that occasion, the 2010 world champion made everyone sweat before finally recording the 100th ton towards the end of his World Championship quarter-final victory over Judd Trump, sparking a crucible celebration that will live long in the memory of many fans – although maybe not Trump.
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Robertson finished with 103 century breaks that year and it is already looking possible that the “Thunder from Down Under” might be ready to make a tilt at his own record.
A lot will obviously depend on Robertson’s form, which for a couple of seasons up until this one hadn’t been at the peaks we’ve come to expect.
However, the signs are there that, with a new cue and a long summer off under his belt, the 14-time ranking event winner appears like a rejuvenated force once again.
A significant number of Robertson’s centuries from five seasons ago came in the Championship League, so any crack at the record might depend on his participation in that invitational series, which is played behind closed doors.
There are eight more ranking events compared to that campaign but that is perhaps offset by the demise of the European and Asian Tours.
Robertson, who is fourth on the all-time centuries list with well more than 500 to his name, will be a player to keep an eye on this season for more than one reason, regardless.
As such a fierce competitor and proven champion, his presence in the business end of the bigger events would be a welcome return to the days when he contended regularly for all the major trophies – with Robertson currently 31/2 with Bet olimp to lift the first major of the season at the UK Championship in December.
But the rate at which he hammers in those tons will always provide an extra subplot that will be worth following over the coming months on the circuit.