Snooker star Robertson reflects on fine British Open campaign

Jimmy Robertson enjoyed his best run in a World Snooker tournament for nearly three years.

Jimmy Robertson
Jimmy Robertson

The Bexhill potter performed superbly to reach the semi-finals of the British Open at the Morningside Arena, Leicester, last week.

Robertson won five matches in all to get to the last four of a ranking event for the second time in his career before bowing out at the hands of eventual champion Mark Williams.

The 35-year-old opened up with a 3-0 win over world number 63 Mark Joyce before recovering from 2-1 down to defeat 39th-ranked Thai player Noppon Saengkham 3-2 thanks to a break of 99 in the deciding frame. Robertson then edged out Welsh cueman Duane Jones 3-2, prevailing 62-53 in a tight final frame having earlier knocked in runs of 82 and 81 to lead 2-1.

That was followed by an excellent 3-0 victory over world number nine Stephen Maguire in round four, with Robertson producing breaks of 126 and 74 against an opponent who scored just 26 points in the match. He continued his progress with a 4-2 success against 34th-ranked Chinese professional Lu Ning in the quarter-finals, clinching the last two frames with runs of 62 and 70 having earlier made a 54 in frame two.

That set up a last-four meeting with three-time world champion Williams just a few hours later. Although Robertson took frame two with a break of 73, world number eight Williams reeled off the next three with half-century breaks in all of them to run out a 4-1 winner.

The Welshman went on to beat Gary Wilson 6-4 in the following day's final to capture his 24th ranking title - a total bettered by only four players in the history of the game.

For Robertson, though, it was a welcome return to the business end of a ranking tournament following a pretty lean time of it since his magnificent European Masters title triumph in October 2018. He came worryingly close to losing his place on the circuit last season, but this result has moved him up to 48th in the rankings (and fifth on the one-year list) and will hopefully act as a springboard for a much better 2021/22 campaign.

St Leonards-based Mark Davis also lined up in the British Open, an event which was revived for this season after an absence of 17 years. After coming from 2-1 down to secure a good 3-2 win over 31st-ranked Michael Holt in round one, the world number 49 lost 3-1 to 65th-ranked Welsh potter Jak Jones in round two.