International Championship: Neil Robertson beats defending champion

Neil Robertson
Neil Robertson

Neil Robertson recovered from 4-2 down to beat Mark Selby 6-4 and reach the semi-finals of the International Championship.

A high-quality game which began with a Selby century ended with Robertson ruthlessly clearing to the pink after his opponent had snookered himself, a position from which he was only able to leave the Australian with a simple opener.

Robertson closed out victory with an audacious pot along the rail as Selby, who had been in command, saw his bid for a third straight victory in the event come to an end. He had appeared set to level at 5-5 but, in potting yellow after the final red, snookered himself on the same ball.

It was harsh on Selby who, in typical fashion, had clawed his way back into the frame. Still, Robertson deserved his success and will now look to go one better than when beaten in the final of the 2012 renewal.

"The purists and anyone who understands modern snooker would really have appreciated that match," he opined.

"It was break building and potting of the highest standard and just incredible tactical play... one of the highest standard of matches I have ever played in for sure."

"Mark Selby has won three world titles so that clearly separates us. However, I am working as hard as I possibly can to make sure another one is just around the corner. I would be really disappointed if I retired and had only won one world title."

Next for the left-hander is a clash with Jack Lisowski, who won the first three frames and never looked back to beat Judd Trump 6-2.

Trump's 119 break in frame six hinted at a comeback but the following frame proved key, and after Lisowski edged it he was able to wrap up things up with a break of 106.

Earlier, Mark Allen whitewashed Carter in a 6-0 demolition job.

Having hinted throughout the week that his best snooker was returning, Allen started the match with a 129 break and after taking a tight second frame, Carter was always up against it.

Breaks of 70 and 57 made it 4-0 to Allen and he took the next two, storming through to the semi-finals where he'll be favourite to beat Matthew Stevens, who beat Martin O'Donnell 6-5.

In the most dramatic game of the day, O'Donnell fought back to level after Stevens, who began with a century, rattled off three frames in a row to lead 5-4.

At 5-5, first Stevens went in-off a long red before O'Donnell returned the favour, potting a red when splitting the pack open off the blue.

From there a tight, nervous battle ensued, and there was more drama when Stevens fouled to leave his opponent needing to clear the colours to force a re-spotted black.

O'Donnell, though, missed a mid-range green off its spot and that allows Stevens to complete the job at last and reach his first ranking semi-final since 2013.

Thursday's quarter-final results

  • Mark Allen 6-0 Ali Carter
  • Jack Lisowski 6-2 Judd Trump
  • Neil Robertson 6-4 Mark Selby
  • Matthew Stevens 6-5 Martin O'Donnell

Friday's semi-final

  • Mark Allen v Matthew Stevens

Saturday's semi-final

  • Neil Robertson v Jack Lisowski

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