Neil Robertson (snooker player)

Neil Robertson (snooker player)
Neil Robertson

Neil Robertson at the 2010 Paul Hunter Classic
Born 11 February 1982 (1982-02-11) (age 29)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Sport country  Australia
  • The Thunder from Down Under[1]
  • The Melbourne Machine[2]
Professional 1998–[1]
Highest ranking 1
Current ranking 4
Career winnings UK£498,995[3]
Highest break 147 (2010 China Open)
Century breaks 180
Tournament wins
Ranking 6
Minor-ranking 2
Non-ranking 1
World Champion 2010

Neil Robertson (born 11 February 1982 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) is an Australian professional snooker player and the 2010 World Champion and World #4. Robertson is the only Australian to have won a ranking event, and is undefeated in ranking event finals.


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.[4] 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.[4] 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 2–6 to Jimmy White in the first round. Commentator John Virgo has recalled that Robertson already showed strong potting skills, but his game was limited in areas such as break-building and safety.[citation needed]

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 7–10 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 8–12 down to level at 12–12 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 only lost one match: his opener against Nigel Bond by 2–3), Robertson then beat Ronnie O'Sullivan 5–1 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 6–2 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 9–5 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 5–3, making a break of 141 in the last frame, then recovered from 4–3 down to beat Ronnie O'Sullivan 5–4 in the quarter-finals. He beat Steve Davis 6–3 in the semi-finals, and surprise finalist Andrew Higginson 9–8 in the final to take the title. He led 6–2 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 10–13 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.


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 9–7. 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 6–3 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 14–17 (after at one stage recovering from 7–14 behind to level at 14–14).

In October 2009, Robertson clinched the 2009 Grand Prix trophy in Glasgow with a 9–4 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.[5]

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 10–5 in the first round. In his second round match against Martin Gould Robertson trailed 0–6 and 5–11 before recovering to win the match 13–12. In the quarter-finals he defeated Steve Davis 13–5. He faced Ali Carter in the semi-finals, winning 17–12 to reach the final. There he defeated 2006 champion Graeme Dott 18–13 to become only the third player from outside of the UK (and only the second from outside of UK and Ireland), and the first Australian, to become world champion in the modern era of the game.[6] The win takes him to a career-high ranking of #2 in the next 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.[7]


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 3–1 and went on to beat David Morris, Andrew Higginson, Ricky Walden and Mark Williams before producing an assured display to beat Ronnie O'Sullivan 5–1 in the final, to confirm his position as the eighth world number 1 in snooker.[8] Robertson was invited to the Premier League Snooker, where he reached the semi-final. He lost 1–5 against O'Sullivan.[9] Robertson reached the quarter-final of the UK Championship, where he lost 7–9 against Shaun Murphy.[10]

Robertson reached the quarter-final of the Masters, but lost 4–6 against Mark Allen.[11] Robertson lost in the first round of the German Masters 4–5.[12] At the next two ranking tournaments Robertson lost in the second round, 1–4 against Graeme Dott at the Welsh Open and 1–5 against Peter Ebdon at the China Open.[13][14] Robertson couldn't defend his World Snooker Championship trophy, as he lost 8–10 in the first round against eventual finalist Judd Trump.[15]

Personal life

During the snooker season, Robertson is based in Cambridge, England.[16] He currently practises at Willie Thorne's Snooker Club.[17] He previously practised at 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,[18] but the child was not born until eight days later on 12 May 2010.[19]

Performance and rankings timeline

Tournament 1998/
Ranking UR[nb 1] UR 118 UR 68 28 13 7 10 9 2 5
Ranking Tournaments
Australian Goldfields Open Tournament Not Held 2R
Shanghai Masters Tournament Not Held 1R 2R 1R 1R SF
World Open[nb 2] 1R LQ LQ LQ 3R 1R W RR 1R W W
UK Championship 1R 1R LQ LQ 2R QF 1R 1R 2R 2R QF
German Masters NR Not Held 1R
Welsh Open 1R LQ LQ LQ 3R 1R W 3R SF 2R 2R
China Open[nb 3] 1R LQ LQ NH LQ 1R 2R 1R 2R 2R 2R
World Championship LQ LQ LQ LQ 1R QF 2R 2R SF W 1R
Non-Ranking Tournaments
The Masters A A A WR A A QF 1R QF 1R QF
Masters Qualifying Event A A A W NH A A A A A Not Held
Premier League Snooker A A A A A A A RR A RR SF
Former Ranking Tournaments
Thailand Masters 1R LQ LQ Not Held
Scottish Open[nb 4] 1R LQ LQ 2R Not Held
British Open 1R LQ LQ LQ 1R Not Held
Malta Cup[nb 5] 2R NH LQ QF QF 1R 2R NR Not Held
Northern Ireland Trophy Not Held 3R QF QF 3R Not Held
Bahrain Championship Not Held W Not Held
Performance Table Legend
LQ lost in qualifying draw #R lost in the early rounds of the tournament
(WR = Wildcard round, RR = Round robin)
QF advanced to but not past the quarterfinals SF advanced to but not past the semifinals
F advanced to the final, tournament runner-up W won the tournament
DQ disqualified from the tournament A did not participate in the tournament
NH / Not Held Means an event was not held.
NR / Non-Ranking Event Means an event is/was no longer a ranking event.
  1. ^ New players on the Main Tour don't have a ranking.
  2. ^ The event run under different name as LG Cup (2001/2002-2003/2004) and Grand Prix (1984/1985-2000/2001 and 2004/2005-2009/2010)
  3. ^ The event run under different name as China International (1998/1999)
  4. ^ The event run under different name as Players Championship (2003/2004)
  5. ^ The event run under different names such as European Open (2001/2002-2003/2004) and Irish Open (1998/1999)

Tournament finals

Ranking finals: 6 (6 titles)

World Championship (1–0)
UK Championship (0–0)
Other (5–0)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 2006 Grand Prix England Cope, JamieJamie Cope 9–5
Winner 2. 2007 Welsh Open England Higginson, AndrewAndrew Higginson 9–8
Winner 3. 2008 Bahrain Championship Wales Stevens, MatthewMatthew Stevens 9–7
Winner 4. 2009 Grand Prix (2) China Ding Junhui 9–4
Winner 5. 2010 World Championship Scotland Dott, GraemeGraeme Dott 18–13
Winner 6. 2010 World Open (3) England O'Sullivan, RonnieRonnie O'Sullivan 5–1

Minor-ranking finals: 2 (2 titles)

Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 2011 Warsaw Classic England Walden, RickyRicky Walden 4–1
Winner 2. 2011 Alex Higgins International Trophy England Trump, JuddJudd Trump 4–1

Non-ranking finals: 1 (1 title)

Masters (0–0)
Premier League (0–0)
Other (1–0)
Outcome No. Year Championship Opponent in the final Score
Winner 1. 2003 Masters Qualifying Event Wales Dale, DominicDominic Dale 6–5

Team events


  • Oceania Championship – 2002
  • IBSF World Under-21 Championship – 2003


  1. ^ a b "Neil Robertson". World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. 2007–2010 [copyright date]. "Players Alphabetical" section.,,13165~2234622,00.html. Retrieved 29 March 2010.  Official WPBSA player profile.
  2. ^ "Narrow Lead For Robertson". World Snooker. World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association. November, 2008. Retrieved 12 September 2010. 
  3. ^ "Neil Robertson". Eurosport UK. 2009. Retrieved 21 February 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Neil Robertson Profile – Official Site". Retrieved 2009-08-26. 
  5. ^ "Rampant Robertson sees off Ding". BBC Sport. 11 October 2009. Retrieved 19 April 2011. 
  6. ^ "Aussie Neil Robertson beats Dott to win world title". BBC Sport. 2010-05-04. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  7. ^ "Neil Robertson wins world snooker title". Herald Sun. Retrieved 6 May 2010. 
  8. ^ "Neil Robertson beats Ronnie O'Sullivan in World Open". BBC Sport (BBC). 2010-09-26. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  9. ^ "2010 Party Casino Premier League". WWW Snooker. Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  10. ^ "2010 UK Championship". Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  11. ^ "20111 Ladbrokes Mobile Masters". WWW Snooker. Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  12. ^ "German Masters". WWW Snooker. Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  13. ^ "2011 Wyldecrest Park Homes Welsh Open". WWW Snooker. Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  14. ^ "2011 Bank of Beijing China Open". WWW Snooker. Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  15. ^ " World Championship (2011)". WWW Snooker. Retrieved 23 February 2011. 
  16. ^ Harris, Nick (2007-04-23). "Neil Robertson: 'The draw at the Crucible is ridiculous. Champions all the way'". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2010-095-11. 
  17. ^ "Robertson will show Davis respect". Cambridge: Cambridge News. 22 March 2009. Retrieved 2010-09-11. 
  18. ^ "Neil Robertson aims to mix World Championship with fatherhood". London: 2010-05-02. Retrieved 2010-05-02. 
  19. ^ Skilbeck, John. "Robertson out to retain world crown". The Age. Retrieved 8 April 2011. 
  20. ^ "Hall of Fame". World Ladies Billiards & Snooker Association. Retrieved 29 March 2011. 

External links

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