Neil Robertson beat Barry Hawkins 10-4 to successfully land the 2022 Masters title at the Alexandra Palace in London on Sunday.
The Thunder from Down Under wasn’t quite at his brilliant best but had more than enough to see off the challenge of his opponent.
In truth, the title-deciding affair didn’t live up to the expectations after a terrific week of action that produced several close contests to the backdrop of an electric atmosphere in the English capital city.
Hawkins, who was bidding for a maiden triumph in a Triple Crown tournament, struggled to rise to the occasion and never really threatened in what transpired to be a mostly one-sided affair.
The key difference in their arsenals ahead of this showdown always appeared to be their scoring power, and even though it wasn’t vintage the Australian produced when it mattered.
Both competitors began the Masters final shakily and it took a long time for either to settle, with unexpected missed pots in abundance from the outset.
With the scores tied at 2-2 after the first mid-session interval, a crucial moment occurred in the fifth frame when Hawkins was adjudged to have inadvertently fouled the green with his shirt.
Gifted with a free ball scenario, English Open champion Robertson cleared the table to pinch the frame on the final black and with it a lead he wouldn’t relinquish for the remainder of the affair.
Robertson ended the first session 5-3 in front, and the 39 year-old extended that to 8-4 at the last mid-session interval as he reeled in the £250,000 top prize.
Upon the resumption Hawkins had an opportunity to stay in touch – one of many throughout the day that he ultimately couldn’t make anything substantial from – but a missed red allowed Robertson to move in for the kill.
In true champion’s style, Robertson wrapped up the victory producing some of his best snooker of the entire encounter with a break of 114 taking him to the brink.
By now it was a formality, and despite needing a couple of bites at the cherry the world number four completed the job in the 14th frame.
Success for Robertson in 2022 represents his sixth career Triple Crown glory and adds to the Masters title he won ten years ago when the event was initially moved to the Alexandra Palace.
Featured photo credit: WST