Neil Robertson Wins 2020 World Grand Prix

Neil Robertson held off a spirited fight back from Graeme Dott to claim the 2020 World Grand Prix title with a 10-8 victory in Cheltenham on Sunday. After a dizzying spell of power scoring, the Australian subsequently almost squandered a 9-5 advantage as Dott gradually pulled back the deficit. However, Robertson steadied himself and refused to let the disappointment of missed chances prevent him from finally completing the job. Victory represents the 37 year-old’s second ranking title of this calendar year already following his success in the European Masters at the end of January. Robertson, who also reached the final of last week’s German Masters, moves to sixth on the all-time winners list with 18 trophies at this level. It has been a remarkable run of form for the Melbourne man, who is now in prime position in both the European Series order of merit and the Coral Series rankings to earn respective bonuses of £150,000 and £100,000. Robertson has risen back to number two in the world rankings behind Judd Trump, and it is fair to say that they are dominating the circuit between them this term. The 2020 World Grand Prix final had Dott bidding to break the record for the longest gap between capturing ranking event titles. Dott’s last triumph was in the China Open 13 years ago and, of course, one of his defeats in finals since then was the 18-13 reverse in the 2010 World Championship final to Robertson himself. After losing the opening frame, Dott pinched a tight second on the black before a break of 56 sent him in front for the one and only time in the contest. Robertson’s 127 settled the nerves and the former world number one added a 110 in forging a 5-2 lead. Dott pinched another close frame to trail by only two frames at the conclusion of the first session and then won the opener this evening to reduce the deficit to just one. Robertson, though, seemed to be in no mood for a scrap as he began to race away from the 2006 world champion. A tournament-high contribution of 142 was sandwiched by other tallies of 107, 101, and 69. Robertson led 9-5 and the outcome appeared to be a certainty but the gritty Dott scrambled to stay in the hunt. As the breaks dried up and the game became a scrappier affair, Dott took advantage to win three frames on the spin – including a dramatic 17th frame when he required a couple of snookers. Dott had a couple of scoring opportunities to force a decider but Robertson composed himself to finally complete the win. After failing to pocket the £100,000 champion’s cheque, Dott misses out on the chance to return to the elite top 16 in the world rankings. The brilliant Robertson, meanwhile, will begin his defence of the Welsh Open next week with another piece of silverware tucked away in his cabinet.
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