The Australian lost only 12 frames in the entire tournament.
Neil Robertson won the Tour Championship on Sunday after a tremendous 10-4 victory over Ronnie O’Sullivan at the Celtic Manor in Wales.
The 39 year-old was in super, almost unplayable, form as he thoroughly dismantled the challenge of the world champion in the second session.
It had appeared as though a blockbuster finale was in store after the pair traded blows in an entertaining first session that left the scores tied at 4-4.
By that point, O’Sullivan and Robertson had exchanged a brace of century breaks apiece and a close climax seemed likely.
However, the latter barely gave O’Sullivan a sniff as the snooker resumed for the evening bout of play, limiting his esteemed opponent to just 26 points.
Robertson, by contrast, stormed to Tour Championship success in style with additional contributions of 123, 119, 114, 93, and 75.
Triumph for the Thunder from Down Under represents a 20th ranking title of his career, taking him above Mark Selby into seventh on the all-time list.
There had been some question marks over Robertson’s form heading into the penultimate ranking event of the campaign, having won only one match since claiming the UK crown in December.
But the new world number three – which will also be his seeding position for the Crucible – was clinical in seeing off both Jack Lisowski and Selby in the first two rounds, before a completely devastating display against the Rocket in the final.
Robertson has been guilty of timing his World Championship tilt poorly in the past decade, but this glory and the £150,000 that goes with it will surely give him the boost of confidence he was looking for ahead of the sports’s blue-riband tournament in April and May.
“I was in the zone from the get-go,” Robertson said in his post-match press conference with the World Snooker Tour.
“I knew my preparation was very good, I felt really good about my game and practice has been going really well, so this week was all about putting all the things in place so you can have the best chance of winning the World Championship.”
“(I wanted) to play every match, every frame, and every session on my terms, don’t let frames get too dragged out, and back yourself all the way through.
“Considering the opposition, I think it’s the best I’ve played in a final – the Champion of Champions with (Judd) Trump was certainly up there – but that was more of a complete performance.”
For O’Sullivan, it was yet more disappointment at the last hurdle of a competition – the fifth time this season that he has suffered a reverse at this stage.
In truth, there wasn’t too much he could have done about this defeat as Robertson was simply the better player on the day and few, if anybody, could have stopped him.
Despite all the near misses, it has actually been a pretty good and consistent season for O’Sullivan, and there’s no major reason to suggest why he won’t be able to muster a concerted challenge for a record-equalling seventh world title.
At least one of Robertson, O’Sullivan, Selby, and world number one Trump has featured in every final this term, bar two.
The super quartet will be the top four seeds for the World Championship, and one would suspect that it will probably be among that stellar group that this year’s champion will hail from.
Ronnie is allways so gracious in defeet and encouraging to his apponent so different to Robertson’s last win ?.
I’d add Higgins to that quartet as to where the likely world champion will come from. He was sensational in the Player’s Championship and has reached three of the last four Crucible finals.
Robertson was sensational last night but O’Sullivan did have chances in at least three frames of the evening session and missed easy balls. His A-game remains the benchmark but we’re not seeing much of it this season despite reaching five finals. I worry these final defeats, generally against key rivals, will leave a scar for Sheffield.
Agree Higgins is obviously in the discussion. But if there’s ever a year when the top 4 seeds could all reach the semi-finals it’s this one.
To be fair, that’s what I thought in my kitchen last night!!
I do think Carter and Bingham would be a dangerous opener for any of that four as the first round is often edgy for the seeds.There’s no question however it is fair to describe them as snooker’s ‘Big Four’.
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