Neil Robertson’s dominance of Mark Selby continued as he produced near-perfect snooker in a 5-2 win to book his place in the semi-finals of the Scottish Open.
Selby came into the quarter-finals having shown some of his best form of the season to date, but he was blown away by Robertson who made it seven wins in a row against the four-time world champion.
Robertson’s form had been patchy this term, he crashed out of the UK Championship in the first round when looking decidedly under the weather.
He had a decongestant with him at the Meadowbank Sports Centre on Friday, but there were no issues with his well-being as he blew Selby away with snooker bordering on the ridiculous.
Robertson started like a train, knocking in the 865th century of his career – a 133 – to take the opener.
The second also went by in the blink of an eye. He was only denied a ton when running out of position on the yellow, and had to settle for 99.
“This is an impressive a start as I’ve seen from anyone, certainly in this event,” Neal Foulds said on Eurosport commentary.
Selby potted his first ball of the contest in the third frame, but he ended up welded to the baulk cushion and fouled when attempting to roll up behind a colour.
Robertson did not punish that error, but produced a superb safety to fashion a chance and knocked a break of 83 to extend the lead to three.
The final black in the third frame was the 99th pot he had attempted in the match, and the 99th that fell. Perfection is tough to quantify in sport, but those three frames were as close to it in snooker terms as brilliant potting was complemented by superb safety.
It took an offset three-ball plant for Robertson to miss, as he broke down in the fourth frame.
After being shut out for three frames, Selby responded with a fabulous 104 to get a foothold in the match heading into the interval.
The three-ball plant attempt from Robertson was pushing the boat out in the extreme, and normal service was resumed upon the resumption as he crashed in a long red to get underway and crafted his 18th ton of the season to get within one frame of victory.
Selby could only sit and watch, and in all probability admire, as Robertson stroked in a long red to get going in the sixth. But for the first time in the contest the Australian began to think about things, and eventually ran out of position. Selby, to his immense credit, stepped in with his second century, 105, to keep himself alive.
Robertson was full on confidence despite his opponent making two tons, and his aggressive approach paid off as a double, when already 34 points to the good, put him in command. There was drama as he missed match-ball red, a tough pot to left middle, but got in again one shot later to book his place in the semi-finals.
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