Robertson

Sport country: Australia
Born: 11.02.1982
Highest ranking: 1
Highest break: 141
Career winnings: £2,395,385
Nickname: The Thunder from Down Under, The Melbourne Machine,
RoboCop, The Centurion Neiltime
Tournament wins: 19
Ranking: 11
Minor-ranking: 4
World Champion: 1 (2010)


Neil Robertson (born 11 February 1982) is an Australian professional snooker player. He made his first breakthrough into the top professional ranks in the 2006/2007 season. He won the 2010 World Championship and was the world number one later in the same year, a ranking that he attained again in 2013 and also in 2014.

Robertson is the only Australian to have won a ranking event, and was undefeated in his first six televised finals. Robertson is also one of eleven players to win both the world and UK titles, and one of ten to win the triple crown of World Championship, UK Championship and Masters. During the 2013/2014 season he became the first player to make 100 centuries in a single season.

Robertson is considered Australia's best ever snooker player, as well as one of the best overseas players (i.e. from outside the United Kingdom) in the sport's history. He plays left-handed.

Life and career

Early career

Robertson began his snooker career at 14, when he became the youngest player to make a century break in an Australian ranking event. He began his professional career in the 1998/1999 season. Then, when he was 17 years old, he reached the third qualifying round of the 1999 World Championship.

In July 2003, Robertson won the World Under-21 Snooker Championship in New Zealand. This earned him a vital wildcard spot on the subsequent WPBSA Main Tour. In 2003 he won the qualifying tournament for a wildcard place at the 2004 Masters, where he subsequently lost 26 to Jimmy White in the first round.

In 2004/2005 season, he moved up to the top 32 in the rankings, reaching the final stages of 6 of the 8 tournaments, despite having to play at least 2 qualifying matches for each one. He qualified for the final stages of the 2005 World Championship, losing 710 to Stephen Hendry in the first round.

In the 2005/2006 season, he continued to progress, moving up to the top 16 of the rankings at the end of the season. He reached 4 quarter-finals in the season, including the 2006 World Championships, in which he fought back from 812 down to level at 1212 against eventual champion Graeme Dott, before losing the final frame by inadvertently potting the final pink, which he needed on the table in his attempts to snooker the Scotsman.

Breakthrough: first ranking title

He made his breakthrough in the 2006/2007 season. After finishing top of his group at the 2006 Grand Prix's round robin stage (he lost only one match: his opener against Nigel Bond by 23), Robertson then beat Ronnie O'Sullivan 51 in the quarter-finals of the event. So he went on to the semi-finals, being only the fourth Australian ever to do so in a ranking event. He beat Alan McManus 62 in the semis, to reach his first major final, where he faced a fellow first-time finalist, the unseeded Jamie Cope, whom he beat comfortably by 95 to win his first ever professional ranking tournament. The win earned Robertson £60,000, his highest amount of money earned in one tournament.

Robertson had early exits in both the UK Championship and the Masters, but found his form again en route to the final of the Welsh Open. He defeated Stephen Hendry 53, making a break of 141 in the last frame, then recovered from 43 down to beat Ronnie O'Sullivan 54 in the quarter-finals. He beat Steve Davis 63 in the semi-finals, and surprise finalist Andrew Higginson 98 in the final to take the title. He led 62 after the first session, then dropped six frames in a row to come within one frame of defeat, but took the remaining three frames to win the match.

He reached the second round of the 2007 World Championship, losing 1013 to Ronnie O'Sullivan despite at one stage winning six frames in a row.

Robertson started 2007/2008 season poorly, making early exits in three of the first four ranking events, plus the 2008 Masters and 2008 Malta Cup. He did reach the quarter-finals of the 2007 Northern Ireland Trophy after wins over Jamie Cope and Ian McCulloch. He finished the season ranked 10th, but outside the top sixteen on the one-year list.

20082010

After a disappointing start to the 2008/2009 season, Robertson reached the final of the 2008 Bahrain Championship, where he played Matthew Stevens. The match lasted almost 6 hours in total, with the Australian edging it 97. During the 2009 Masters Robertson and opponent Stephen Maguire set a record of 5 consecutive century breaks. Robertson made 2 centuries, and Maguire made 3, with the 3rd sealing a 63 win over the Australian. At the 2009 World Championship Robertson defeated Steve Davis, Ali Carter and Stephen Maguire to reach the semi-finals of the World Championship for the first time, before losing to Shaun Murphy 1417 (after at one stage recovering from 714 behind to level at 1414).

In October 2009, Robertson clinched the 2009 Grand Prix trophy in Glasgow with a 94 win over China's Ding Junhui in the final. His semi-final match with defending champion John Higgins was won on the final black of the deciding frame. Robertson's fourth title made him the most successful player from outside the UK and Ireland in ranking tournaments, although Ding equalled his total at that season's UK Championship. He achieved his 100th career century during the 2009 Grand Prix.

On 1 April 2010 Robertson made the first official maximum break of his career in his second round match in the 2010 China Open against Peter Ebdon.

At the 2010 World Championship, Robertson defeated Fergal O'Brien 105 in the first round. In his second round match against Martin Gould Robertson trailed 06 and 511 before recovering to win the match 1312. In the quarter-finals he defeated Steve Davis 135. He faced Ali Carter in the semi-finals, winning 1712 to reach the final. There he defeated 2006 champion Graeme Dott 1813 to become only the third player from outside the UK (and only the second from outside the UK and Ireland), and the first Australian, to become world champion in the modern era of the game. The win took him to a career-high ranking of No. 2 in the following season. Although the record books show Australian Horace Lindrum triumphed in 1952, that was the year when the sport's leading players staged a boycott and to this day in many circles Lindrum is not regarded as a credible world champion.

2010/2011

Robertson started the new season by losing in the first round of the 2010 Shanghai Masters to Peter Ebdon. However, at the World Open Robertson was drawn in the last 64 against Graeme Dott in a repeat of their world final, Robertson won 31 and went on to beat David Morris, Andrew Higginson, Ricky Walden and Mark Williams before producing an assured display to beat Ronnie O'Sullivan 51 in the final, to confirm his position as the eighth world number 1 in snooker. Robertson was invited to the Premier League Snooker, where he reached the semi-final. He lost 15 against O'Sullivan. Robertson reached the quarter-final of the UK Championship, where he lost 79 against Shaun Murphy.

Robertson reached the quarter-final of the Masters, but lost 46 against Mark Allen. Robertson lost in the first round of the German Masters 45. At the next two ranking tournaments Robertson lost in the second round, 14 against Graeme Dott at the Welsh Open and 15 against Peter Ebdon at the China Open. Robertson couldn't defend his World Snooker Championship trophy, as he lost 810 in the first round against eventual finalist Judd Trump.

2011/2012

Neil_Robertson_2012_Masters

Robertson's season started in a disappointing fashion as he lost 45 to Dominic Dale in the last 16 of his home tournament the Australian Goldfields Open. However, his form soon improved and at the next world ranking event, the Shanghai Masters, he dismissed Liang Wenbo, Michael Holt and John Higgins, before losing 56 to Mark Williams in a tightly contested semi-final. His first silverware of the season came in Warsaw at the PTC Event 6, where he beat Ricky Walden 41 in the final. This success was quickly followed up by another PTC title in Event 8 where he again won by a 41 scoreline, this time against Judd Trump. Victory ensured that Robertson maintained his record of never having lost in a ranking event final. He would later finish third in the Order of Merit and therefore qualify for the 2012 PTC Finals. His fine form continued into the UK Championship in York, where he beat Tom Ford, Graeme Dott and Ding Junhui en route to his first semi-final in the event. He played Judd Trump and lost in an extremely tight encounter, 79, with there never being more than 2 frames between the players throughout the match.

Robertson won the 2012 Masters by defeating Shaun Murphy 106 in the final. He beat Mark Allen and Mark Williams in the opening two rounds, before facing Trump in the semi-finals for the second successive major tournament. He exacted revenge for his defeat in York a month earlier by winning 63 and said after the match that he had been spurred on by fans cheering when Trump fluked shots. Such was Robertson's feeling that he lacked support from the local crowd, he offered to buy a pint of beer for anyone attending his matches in an Australian hat or shirt, but only one person heeded this call in his semi final match against Mark Williams. In his first Masters final he opened up a 53 lead over Murphy in the first session and, although he lost the first frame upon the resumption of play, won four frames in a row to stand on the edge of the title. Despite a brief fightback from the Englishman, Robertson secured the frame he needed with a break of 70 to become the fourth man from outside the United Kingdom to win the event.

Robertson did not advance beyond the second round in any of his next three ranking events and then saw his run of televised finals without defeat finally come to an end when he was beaten 40 by Stephen Lee in the PTC Finals. He lost in the quarter-finals of the China Open 35 to Peter Ebdon, before drawing 1997 champion Ken Doherty in the first round of the World Championship. Robertson won the match 104 and then beat qualifier David Gilbert 139 to set up a quarter-final clash with Ronnie O'Sullivan. Robertson was 53 ahead after the first session, but his opponent produced a match defining run of six frames in a row and went on to win 1310. Robertson finished the season ranked world number 7.

2012/2013

Robertson began the season poorly once more as he lost in the first round of the Wuxi Classic and the second round of the Australian Goldfields Open and the Shanghai Masters. He returned to form at the minor-ranking Gdynia Open in Poland by defeating Jamie Burnett 43 in the final. At the inaugural International Championship in Chengdu, China, Robertson saw off Ryan Day, Matthew Stevens, L? Haotian and Shaun Murphy 95 in the semi-finals to reach the final. There he led Judd Trump 86 but lost four consecutive frames to succumb to an 810 defeat. He enjoyed a comfortable passage into the quarter-finals of the UK Championship with 61 and 62 wins over Tom Ford and Barry Hawkins respectively to face Mark Selby. Robertson squandered a 40 lead to lose 46 in a match which finished after midnight.

Neil_Robertson_at_Snooker_German_Masters_2013

Robertson started 2013 by attempting to defend his Masters title. He produced a comeback in the first round against Ding Junhui by taking the final three frames in a 65 triumph, shouting "You beauty!" when he potted the clinching red. Another deciding frame followed in the next round against Mark Allen, with Robertson making a 105 break in it to progress to the semi-finals and a more comfortable 62 win against Shaun Murphy. Robertson won three frames from 38 down to Mark Selby in the final, before Selby held off the fightback by taking the two frames he required to win 106. Robertson was beaten in the semi-finals of both the German Masters (26 to Ali Carter) and the World Open (56 to Matthew Stevens). Robertson's victory in the Gdynia Open earlier in the season helped him finish fifth on the PTC Order of Merit to qualify for the Finals. Wins over Jamie Burnett, Barry Hawkins, Xiao Guodong and Tom Ford saw him reach the final. He faced Ding and from 30 ahead went on to lose 34 meaning Robertson who won his first six ranking finals had now lost his last three.

Robertson returned to winning ways at the China Open by winning his seventh career ranking event. He advanced to final by defeating Jimmy Robertson 50, Mark Allen 51, Marcus Campbell 52 and Stephen Maguire 65 (after fighting back from 24 down). He exacted revenge over Mark Selby for his 106 loss in the final of the Masters in January by beating the Englishman by the same scoreline, moving to world number two in the process. Despite therefore appearing to be in top form for the World Championship he lost to Robert Milkins 810 in the first round, saying afterwards that he should have gone out to win the match rather than getting too involved in safety. Robertson finished the season ranked world number two for the second time in his career.

2013/2014

In May 2013, Robertson made the second official maximum break of his career in the Wuxi Classic qualifiers against Mohamed Khairy. In the main stage of the tournament, he defeated John Higgins 107 in the final to secure his eighth ranking event title. He came from 25 down against Higgins to lead 85 before withstanding a fightback to complete the victory and ensure his second consecutive ranking event win in China. In his home tournament, the Australian Goldfields Open, he made it past the second round for the first time in the three stagings of the event, before continuing his run by beating Joe Perry 52 in the quarter-finals and Mark Selby 63 in the semis. He would have become the first man since Ronnie O'Sullivan in 2003 to win back to back ranking events in the same season, but he lost 69 to Hong Kong's Marco Fu in the final. On 8 December 2013 Robertson beat Mark Selby 107 in the final of the UK Championship, becoming the first overseas player to win all Triple Crown events.

In January 2014, during the Championship League, Robertson reached 63 century breaks in a single professional season, breaking the previous record of 61 centuries held by Judd Trump. By early February, Robertson had reached 78 centuries, a feat that Ronnie O'Sullivan called "probably the most phenomenal scoring in the history of the game." In February, he made his 88th century of the season while playing Mark Williams in the last 32 of the Welsh Open, but went on to lose 43. At the World Open, he extended his season total to 92 centuries, but lost 43 on a re-spotted black against Marco Fu in the last 32. At the China Open he won a trio of deciding frames before beating Graeme Dott and Ali Carter to reach the final, where he lost 105 to Ding Junhui. He added one more century break during the event and extended the total to 99 in his first two World Championship matches. Robertson also missed a black on a break of 94 that would have seen him reach the 100 milestone during his win over Mark Allen. However, in the 22nd frame of his quarter-final clash against Judd Trump, Robertson made his 100th century break of the season, which also levelled the scores at 1111. Robertson went on to win the match 1311 (having trailed 62 and 118) to set up a semi-final against Mark Selby. Selby, the eventual champion, defeated Robertson 1715 in a high-quality match that saw Robertson make three more century breaks to end his tally for the season at 103. He ended the campaign as the world number three.

2014/2015

Robertson beat Shaun Murphy on the final black in the quarter-finals of the 2014 Wuxi Classic to win 54 and then beat Barry Hawkins 63 to reach the opening ranking event final of the 2014/2015 season. He played friend and practice partner Joe Perry and from 30 behind rallied to lead 86, before Perry won three frames in a row to be one away from the title. Robertson then produced breaks of 87 and 78 to win the title 109 and paid tribute to Perry's influence on his own career after the match. A week later he comfortably won through to the final of his home event, the Australian Goldfields Open, without any of his opponents taking more than two frames off him. Robertson was beaten in the final of the event for the second year in a row, this time 95 against Judd Trump, but reclaimed the world number one spot afterwards. He then had early exits at the Shanghai Masters and International Championship and was knocked out at the semi-final stage of the Champion of Champions 64 by Trump.

Robertson trailed Graeme Dott 50 in the fourth round of the UK Championship, but then made five breaks above 50 which included two centuries to draw level, before falling short of a big comeback as Dott took the final frame to win 65. He produced his best snooker to reach the final of the Masters by defeating Ali Carter 61 in the quarter-finals and Ronnie O'Sullivan 61 in the semis. The latter victory marked the first time O'Sullivan had been eliminated at that stage of the event after 10 prior wins and also ended a run of 15 consecutive wins in all competitions. However, in the final Robertson suffered the heaviest defeat in the Masters since 1988 as Shaun Murphy thrashed him 102. He didn't lose a frame in reaching the quarter-finals of the German Masters, but Stephen Maguire got the two snookers he required in the deciding frame when Robertson accidentally potted the black and went on to clear the table to win 54. Robertson was forced to concede the fifth frame of his fourth round match with Gary Wilson at the Welsh Open when he failed to hit a red three times in a row and lost the next frame to exit the tournament. Robertson won his only European Tour event this year at the Gdynia Open by beating Mark Williams 40, meaning he has now claimed three titles in Poland during his career.

Robertson enjoyed comfortable 102 and 135 wins over Jamie Jones and Ali Carter to face Barry Hawkins in the quarter-finals of the World Championship. It was an extremely high quality encounter as both players compiled four centuries to match a Crucible record in a best of 25 frame match, but Robertson would lose 1312. He made 11 centuries in the event which included a 143 in the first round, a 145 in the second and 141 and 142 breaks in the final session of his match with Hawkins. Despite this Robertson, who has won four ranking titles since his world title in 2010, stated that he believes he has underachieved in his career.

2015/2016

Robertson exited in round one of the first two ranking events in the 2015/2016 season and 64 to Mark Selby in the quarter-finals of the International Championship. He then claimed his first major title in over 12 months by beating Mark Allen 105 in the final of the Champion of Champions. Thepchaiya Un-Nooh missed the final black for a 147 in their third round UK Championship match, before Robertson made a 145 break in the next frame and went on to win 62. He saw off Stephen Maguire 61 and John Higgins 65 and then thrashed Mark Selby 60. Robertson became the first player to make a 147 break in a Triple Crown final in the sixth frame of his match with Liang Wenbo. It was also the first final in the event not to feature a player from the United Kingdom and Robertson would capture the title for the second time in three years with a 105 win. Robertson and Judd Trump set a record of six centuries in a best-of-11 frame match (four from Trump and two from Robertson) in the second round of the Masters with Trump progressing 65. Robertson proclaimed the match as the greatest ever at the Masters. Robertson was on the receiving end of a 147 break during his quarter-final match with Ding Junhui in the Welsh Open but the Australian prevailed 52. He then overcame Mark Allen 64 in the semi-finals to set up a final with Ronnie O'Sullivan. Despite leading 52, Roberston lost 95 as O'Sullivan produced a remarkable comeback by winning 7 frames in a row.

Personal life

Robertson was born in Melbourne. During the snooker season, he is based in Cambridge, England. He has practised at Willie Thorne's snooker club in Leicester, and the Cambridge Snooker Centre.

Robertson has a son, Alexander. His Norwegian girlfriend, Mille, had been due to give birth while Robertson was playing in the World Championship final, but the child was not born until eight days later on 12 May 2010.

He doesn't refer to himself as a vegan, but only eats vegan food. He is conscious that some of his clothes, including his snooker shoes, are not made up of completely vegan materials.

Robertson is friends with Chelsea F.C. captain John Terry.