Neil Robertson purring about his game as he gets English Open challenge underway


Neil Robertson is feeling in fine fettle at the moment (Picture: Getty Images)

Neil Robertson may not have played much so far this season, but he is as confident as ever in his game, saying he is in ‘fantastic condition’ as he gets his English Open challenge underway.

The Thunder from Down Under brushed aside Andy Hicks 4-0 in the first round on Monday night, making two breaks of 89 along the way at the Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes.

Having missed the Championship League and British Open, we have only seen Robertson play five matches so far this campaign, winning four of them and his only defeat coming in the last 32 of the Northern Ireland Open to Ricky Walden.

He might not be fully match sharp, but that is not bothering him and sounds like he has rock solid confidence in his game at the moment.

‘My game’s really good,’ Robertson told ‘I’ve been playing incredible in practice. It’s been going good.

‘I had a long lay-off, missed the British Open because I got married. Didn’t really want to play in the Championship League because that would have been very stop-start, played in that and then not played for a couple of months anyway.

‘The Championship league is good when you’re like building into other events and getting match practice, but I didn’t really see the point in that.

‘So I’m starting a bit later than most but my game is in fantastic condition.’

The Australian warmed up for the English Open with two dominant wins at the German Masters qualifiers, beating Fraser Patrick 5-2 and Michael White 5-1 with three centuries across the two matches.

That was despite the distraction of a spin class going on within earshot.

‘I played well last week in the German Masters qualifiers,’ he said. ‘It was nice tonight not to have a massive spin class going on downstairs like in Cannock. A few of us were having a laugh about it, you could hear it underneath: “One, two, go go, go!”’

Welsh Open 2020 - Day 3

Robertson is looking to add the English Open title to his collection this week having already won the Scottish and Welsh (Picture: Getty Images)

Robertson is eyeing-up his first English Open title after losing the final in a deciding frame to Judd Trump last year, but he is also looking to build his game up to the defence of his UK Championship title later this month.

The roles were reversed in that event, where he beat Trump in a dramatic decider and he is excited to try and win an incredible fourth UK crown back in York this time around.

‘I’m really looking forward to that, going for my fourth UK which would be awesome,’ he said. ‘Three is fantastic but going for four would be really special.

‘Back in York, that’s wonderful, that’s awesome.

‘I’ll be trying to build and build and peak at the right time as best I can.’

Robertson has the added bonus this week of getting a bye into the last 32 after James Cahill withdrew due to Covid.

The UK champ will take on either Sunny Akani or face another clash with Walden in the third round.

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