Champion of Champions final: Neil Robertson beats Judd Trump 10-9 in Coventry

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

Neil Robertson defeated Judd Trump 10-9 in a pulsating final of the Champion of Champions at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

At the end of a dramatic day that had twists and turns at every corner, it was Robertson who finished the stronger, somehow hauling himself back into the match after Trump had potted frame and match ball in frame 18 only to allow his opponent back to the table and force a re-spotted black which duly went the way of the Australian.

With the tide having turned, Robertson held his nerve to deliver a brilliant match-winning total clearance of 137 that finally broke Trump’s impressive resistance that came only a seven days after he was crowned World Open champion in China.

It was a final that certainly lived up to the pre-match billing and one that did justice to such a fine event that has this week provided a number of memorable moments, the pair trading blows across two sessions with eight centuries scored in only 19 frames of snooker.

The match had seemingly turned Trump’s way when he inched 9-8 in front after himself forcing Robertson to surrender an apparently unassailable lead, Trump laying a fabulous snooker from which his opponent couldn’t escape before potting blue, pink and black to put himself on the cusp of victory.

However, when Robertson drew level in almost identical fashion only a few moments later, Trump’s race was run, an attempted long red missing its mark and allowing Robertson a free run to the winning line.

The match had begun in electrifying fashion earlier in the day, Robertson taking the early initiative in the opening session when edging the opening frame and then doubling his lead when registering the first century of the day, a well-crafted run of 112.

Trump quickly rallied in frame three thanks to a break of 86 but a missed brown in the fourth frame allowed Robertson to head into the mid-session interval with a 3-1 lead.

However, he met a fierce response from Trump upon the resumption, the world champion putting together three consecutive centuries in a stunning passage of play, the first of which (121) came despite the unwanted attentions of a wasp that appeared determined to knock the 30-year-old out of his stride.

Nevertheless, Trump kept his focus to clear the table all by the final black before ensuring he finished the job in the following frame, a brilliant opening red to the middle pocket paving the way for a magnificent clearance of 127 that was quickly followed by another clearance of 119 in frame seven.

With Trump on the march, Robertson was now in desperate need of a riposte and a wonderful long red showed he would not be backing down, the break of 96 that followed taken with typical authority.

While a missed red along the side cushion deprived fans in the Ricoh Arena of another century, they didn't have to wait long for compensation, Robertson ending the session with a flawless run of 111 that edged him back in front and hinted at the drama that was to come.

"It's the best match I've ever been involved in - and I'm sure a lot of people here would say it's the best they've ever seen," Robertson told ITV 4.

"The standard overall was incredible, there were a lot of centuries and a couple of frames on the black.

"We never backed down, we kept playing the shots, and that's the sort of snooker people want to see.

"You go into the decider and all you want is one chance.

"Judd was very brave going for the long red from my break-off, and if he pots it he probably wins the match."

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