Neil Robertson: ‘I’m not going to be desperate’

The Australian has reached the last eight at the Crucible Theatre for the third year on the trot.

Neil Robertson is through to the quarter-finals of the 2021 World Snooker Championship after a 13-9 victory against Jack Lisowski in Sheffield on Saturday.

The 2010 world champion, who compiled four century breaks during the encounter, took control of the contest after a cagey first session ended 5-3 in his favour.

Both players loosened up in the second session and Lisowski threatened an upset when he restored parity at 6-6, but Robertson won three out of the last four frames on Friday to boast an overnight lead heading into the last bout of play.

While the 39 year-old continued to score heavily in the third session, his progress wasn’t without its strokes of fortune, with two ridiculous flukes paving the way for crucial frame-winning breaks that left the scores at 12-8 when they could have just as easily been locked again at 10-10.

Lisowski continued to battle after the last mid-session interval, but Robertson won the 22nd frame with a break of 90 to seal his quarter-final berth.

“I’m really pleased with how I played,” Neil Robertson told tournament sponsor Betfred ahead of his next match against either Kyren Wilson or Barry Hawkins.

“Certainly in the last few weeks with my performance in the Tour Championship, I think that was a really good pre-event for the Worlds because that was over such a long distance as well.”

“It’s nice to come here on the back of really good performances over longer distances matches, and I seem to have followed that up with the first two rounds here.”

On the prospect of reaching the semi-finals and experiencing the single table set-up for the first time since 2014, Robertson said: “It is nice because the tournament does open up and it is completely different.”

“The fact that there is crowds this year and we’re kind of opening up with more and more people coming in, I certainly noticed the atmosphere yesterday and today compared to the first round.

“Every year, everyone wants to get to the one table set-up – it’s where the Crucible kind of transforms into a different venue.

“I’ve not been there for a few years myself so the motivation is definitely there, but I’m not going to allow myself to be desperate for it or anything like that.

“I’m just going to play my matches to win the match, and then whatever is around the corner will be what it’ll be.”

Elsewhere, Mark Williams won the first five frames of his second session with John Higgins – making it nine in a row in total – to lead 10-3, but the Scot took the remaining three frames to just about hang in there with a small chance heading into their final session on Saturday evening.

Live coverage continues on the BBC and Eurosport.

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