Robertson books final spot

  • Last Updated: December 7 2013, 4:41 GMT

Neil Robertson is thrilled at the prospect of joining the select band of players to win snooker's Triple Crown.

Neil Robertson: Edged out Stuart Bingham 9-8
Neil Robertson: Edged out Stuart Bingham 9-8

The world number one reached the UK Championship final at York's Barbican Centre when he held off a remarkable Stuart Bingham comeback on Friday night to win 9-8.

Having won the 2010 World Championship and last year's Masters, Robertson could become only the eighth player to win all three of the major titles.

He said: "It'd be incredible to join, is it (Steve) Davis, (Stephen) Hendry, Ronnie (O'Sullivan), Higgins, (Mark) Williams?

"I don't think anyone else has done it, so to join that group of players would be amazing."

Both John and Alex Higgins achieved the feat, while Terry Griffiths is the one other player to do so.

Robertson has had to dig deep to reach this stage, having complained about the table following his wins over Joe Perry and Stephen Maguire and then almost lost to Bingham from a seemingly unassailable position.

Bingham made the early running in the afternoon and could easily have led 3-1 at the mid-session interval.

He was 2-1 up after breaks of 72 and 124 and made 51 in frame four but then allowed Robertson to steal the frame.

That looked crucial as Robertson also took the three frames after the interval, helped by breaks of 86 and 68 to add to an earlier 70.

Bingham cut the arrears to 5-3 with a 78 in the last frame of the session but Robertson took the first three of the evening, the last with a break of 81, to go 8-3 up.

Amazingly, the Englishman pulled all the way back to 8-8 but Robertson got over the line in a tense decider.

"I've improved with every performance as the tournament's gone on," said Robertson.

"I've still got a few gears to come so hopefully my best snooker's to come in the final." He will be watched by his mother Alison, who flew to England in time for his match against Bingham - the first time she has done so since the 2010 Crucible final.

"If I win on Sunday, I'll make sure she stays for the Masters," Robertson said of his apparent lucky charm.

"It would have been disastrous if I lost the day that she got here so I'm just glad I gave her a bit of value as well.

"She's really enjoying it and she'll enjoy the day off because it means she can go out and have a look at York."

A deflated Bingham said: "I was just trying to make the score respectable and then all of a sudden I had a chance to win.

"I'm just gutted, lost for words."

Reigning champion Mark Selby meets Ricky Walden in the second semi-final on Saturday.


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