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Stephen Hendry: ‘Strange performance from Neil Robertson’

The seven-time world champion wasn’t impressed by the world number three’s display.

Stephen Hendry was surprised by the World Championship quarter-final exit of Neil Robertson at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield on Wednesday.

The Australian had been tipped by many to go all the way to glory this year and finally add to his sole world crown from 2010.



But Robertson’s game fell apart after establishing an early 5-2 lead against Kyren Wilson in his last-eight affair, subsequently losing 11 out of the next 14 frames including the last five in a row.

It’s the third year on the trot that the 39 year-old has fallen at the quarter-final hurdle and his run of having failed to reach the single table set-up at the Crucible in every edition since 2014 continues.

Robertson, who triumphed in the prestigious UK and Tour Championships earlier in this campaign, had looked sharp in his opening two fixtures last week, but the former world number one appeared to get unnecessarily bogged down during his match with Wilson.

The latter, by contrast, grew in confidence as the tie progressed, finishing extremely strongly with a 133 century contribution and three additional breaks above 50 helping him to cruise to the winning line.

Wilson, a runner-up to Ronnie O’Sullivan in last year’s delayed World Championship, will feature at the semi-final stage at the Crucible for the third time in four years and his pedigree for the longer matches is there for all to see.

“(For) Neil Robertson, it was a surprising performance considering how well he has played,” Stephen Hendry said on his daily Instagram Live report.

“It’s a similar pattern to the last two or three years actually – he’s looked the man to beat in the first couple of rounds and then he has fallen short in the quarter-final.”

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“It was a very strange performance really from Neil I think. I know Kyren can be an awkward player to play against because his cue ball can be errant.

“When he does miss the balls tend to be in awkward positions, and there were a lot of frames that were 30 or 35 minutes, which doesn’t suit Neil at all.

“I’m sure Neil will be disappointed, he would have fancied his chances, he was fresh and hasn’t played a lot of snooker this year so that was a surprising result for me.

“But you can’t take away from Kyren – he’s starting to look like a real pedigree performer at this venue, the long frame matches seem to suit him.”

In the semi-finals, Kettering’s Wilson will take on either 2005 world champion Shaun Murphy or 2019 winner and world number one Judd Trump.

Trump was the pre-tournament favourite in the snooker betting and MaxFreeBets has all the best welcome bonuses and sign-up offers if you think the Englishman can go all the way in Sheffield for a second time.

Murphy and Trump are tied at four frames apiece following their initial exchanges on Tuesday, with back-to-back sessions to come on Wednesday afternoon and evening.

On the other side of the draw, Mark Selby romped to a 13-3 hiding of Mark Williams with a session to spare – instigating a period of unexpected rest that could prove pivotal come the weekend’s busy action.

Selby produced a clinical performance in a one-sided battle between the three-time former world champions, and the Jester now awaits the winner of the clash between Anthony McGill and Stuart Bingham in the last four.

Live coverage continues on the BBC and Eurosport.

Featured photo credit: WST



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World Rankings Top 16

World Rankings after the World Snooker Championship – won by Mark Selby.

1. Judd Trump
2. Mark Selby
3. Ronnie O’Sullivan
4. Neil Robertson
5. Shaun Murphy
6. Kyren Wilson
7. John Higgins
8. Ding Junhui
9. Stephen Maguire
10. Yan Bingtao
11. Mark Williams
12. Mark Allen
13. Barry Hawkins
14. Jack Lisowski
15. Stuart Bingham
16. Anthony McGill

Fin Ruane Snooker Academy