Neil Robertson Tour Championship
Finals, Main News, Ranking

Neil Robertson after Tour Championship comeback: ‘I can always believe’

Neil Robertson stormed back from 9-4 down to beat John Higgins 10-9 in the Tour Championship final on Sunday.

The Australian successfully defended the prestigious title, and with it pocketed the £150,000 champion’s cheque.

Robertson, who had been the favourite going into the contest, looked out of the running when he trailed Higgins 8-3 and 9-4.

But a combination of his fantastic fight back and a capitulation from his opponent resulted in the 40 year-old dramatically winning the last six frames.

It’s a third ranking triumph of the season for the Melbourne man, which adds to the Masters crown he also captured in January.

Higgins will feel sick after playing so well to move to the brink of the title, only to throw it all away at the very end.

It’s the third time this term that the Scot has got to within a frame of a ranking event victory only to lose in a decider.

But Robertson should take all the plaudits, highlighting his status as the best player in the world on current form with a never-say-die attitude.

“I won, so that would tell you that there was some belief there,” Neil Robertson told the World Snooker Tour after his remarkable Tour Championship success.

“I can always believe that I can come back from any position, because I think the way I play the game, once I get the momentum if I can get it, then I can go on a streak of winning a number of frames.”

“John was playing unbelievable safety throughout the match – I never had a chance to pot a long red with my hand on the table until 8-3.

“I knocked it in really clean and made 90 to go 8-4, and there were a couple of huge shots – again at 9-8 he’s left me a long red and I’ve knocked it in to make 90-odd.

“I was showing to him that I was still playing really well. He was just starving me of chances, and it wasn’t something where I was allowing the match to get bogged down.

“John was just dictating the way the balls were positioned, and I didn’t really have too many answers.

“When he went 9-4 up he was playing at his best, it was incredible to experience playing against, and when you’re not making too many mistakes it can be easier to get back into a match.

“I wasn’t really kicking myself over anything – John was just playing too good.

“Even as a junior player my dad would always say that I had great records as a junior in deciders, and I always found ways to win.

“My mum and dad have to take a lot of credit for that – the way they’ve brought me up – and listening to motivational cassette tapes in the car with my dad, we’d always listen to inspirational stories.

“That really inspires you being able to learn how to deal with that little voice inside of you, I’ve learned to delete those (negative) messages.

“This is a brilliant tournament on the eve of the World Championship, because it’s the best out of 19 which really tests you against the very best players.

“The only time you usually have that is when you play someone in a final, so it’s like I’ve had three finals this week against brilliant players.

“Hopefully that’ll hold me in good stead and there’s enough of a break where I can have a couple of days off and chill, and then get back into the preparations for the Worlds.”

Featured photo credit: WST

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