English Open: Neil Robertson hoping to put 'crazy' year behind him

Neil Robertson cruised Kishan Hirani in the first round of the English Open
Neil Robertson cruised Kishan Hirani in the first round of the English Open

Having endured a less than conventional season so far, former World Snooker Champion Neil Robertson expressed his relief at making it safely through to the second round of the English Open.

The 37-year-old famously drove to the wrong Barnsley earlier this month and subsequently forfeited his World Open qualifier, while several other disruptions have prevented him from getting into a rhythm so far this campaign.

But after cruising through his opening tie in Crawley 4-0 against Welshman Kishan Hirani, Robertson believes a good showing in West Sussex could be key to getting back on track with a hectic winter period on the horizon.

“The season’s been crazy so far,” he said. “I’ve been in five events and I’ve only lost once because I’ve been outplayed.

“I missed the Riga Masters because our plane was grounded, and in one game half of my tip came off which meant it was pretty much game over.

“Then in China I got a horrendous chest infection and I couldn’t even complete the match; so overall it’s been far from ideal.

“But when I have played, I’ve done well, so I just have to take the positives from that and hopefully I can kick on with the rest of the season, starting with the English Open.”

Robertson could have hardly started the tournament in better fashion, scoring a ton and three half-centuries as he barely gave his world number 87 opponent a chance.

And the Triple Crown winner was delighted with his display, insisting he was focused on making the most of every chance he gets with the sport’s biggest events coming up in the next few months.

He said: “Kishan didn’t do too much wrong in the game, but I played pretty much perfect snooker.

“I stamped my authority on the match early on and showed him that I wasn’t going to be taking anything for granted.

“I really enjoyed it. It’s nice to start off the tournament in that way and get a feel for the main table, which was running nicely.

“You can’t pick and choose when you play well and there are so many big competitions now that you have to take what comes your way. Hopefully I can continue to progress in this one.”


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