Robertson books Shanghai spot

Bexhill snooker star Jimmy Robertson achieved a hat-trick of very good wins to qualify for the Shanghai Masters
Bexhill snooker star Jimmy Robertson achieved a hat-trick of very good wins to qualify for the Shanghai Masters

Jimmy Robertson produced a superb performance to qualify for the venue stage of the latest World Snooker event.

The Bexhill cueman is through to the Shanghai Masters after winning three matches in the qualifiers.

Robertson began by coming from 4-2 down to edge out 16-year-old Lu Haotian, the world number 72 from China, aided by breaks of 62, 52, 96, 54, 58 and 59.

He then pipped 36th-ranked Ben Woollaston by the same score in the next stage. The opening four frames were shared with Woollaston winning the first and third - the latter by one point having recovered from needing a snooker - and Robertson taking the second and fourth - the latter thanks to a run of 73.

A 51 put Woollaston 3-2 up, but Robertson replied with a brilliant 136 in the next and a 46 helped him lead for the first time at 4-3. Woollaston won the eighth courtesy of a 75 only for Robertson to clinch the decider with a best effort of 38.

World number 54 Robertson booked his place in the far east via a very good 5-3 win over 22nd-ranked Chinese player Xiao Guodong despite losing the opening frame to a break of 111.

Although he won the second with a closing 58 and then clinched the fourth, Robertson trailed 3-2. But Guodong scored just 24 points thereafter as Robertson reeled off three frames in a row with breaks of 52, 62 and 69.

The 28-year-old will face Scottish world number 13 Stephen Maguire in the event proper, which will take place from September 8-14.

Mark Davis, the world number 18 from St Leonards, was beaten 5-2 by Matthew Selt in the final round of the qualifiers. Though avis won frame two, 55th-ranked Selt hit breaks of 69, 140 and 85 to lead 4-1. Davis replied with a 98 only for Selt to seal victory in the next.

Davis, 42, and Robertson will line up in European Tour event two on Saturday. Robertson’s opening opponent will be 80th-ranked Vinnie Calabrese, while Davis will be up against a qualifier.