Chilly Robertson slams conditions but keeps cool to move into last 16

Sportsbeat
·3-min read
Australian Robertson is used to hotter temperatures back home and let rip at the conditions at the Milton Keynes venue
Australian Robertson is used to hotter temperatures back home and let rip at the conditions at the Milton Keynes venue

Neil Robertson blasted the Marshall Arena temperatures after shivering into the last 16 of the UK Championship in Milton Keynes, writes Will Jennings.

The Thunder from Down Under battled the elements to topple Lu Ning 6-2 and keep his hopes of a tournament hat-trick alive.

The world No.3, who was crowned UK champion in 2013 and 2015, joined the chorus of players to criticise the conditions at the behind closed doors venue after Judd Trump had also slammed the temperature following his third round win.

Robertson will meet World Championship semi-finalist Anthony McGill in the last 16 and is calling on tournament organisers to turn up the heat around the TV table baize.

“It was quite cold in and around the table, and that’s usually a recipe for disaster with how the cushions are going to play,” the 38-year-old fumed.

“It was never going to be a night where I could get any kind of scoring going. It was very tough but you need to adjust to different conditions and I thought I managed about as well as I could.

“I’m a big believer that, if anything, make it a little bit too hot. The table will play well if it’s a little bit too hot.

“The players would rather be a little bit too hot than asking for a mug of hot water or cup of tea to keep their hands warm. Make the arena warm.”

18-time ranking event winner Robertson beat Brian Ochoiski and Chris Wakelin to reach the third round before blowing world No.37 Lu away on Monday.

He was far from his most fluent but steady breaks of 81, 60, 54 and 53 floored the Chinese in Buckinghamshire and hauled the two-time winner into the fourth round.

Robertson has enjoyed an impressive start to the season but come unstuck in two finals, losing a 9-8 thriller against world No.1 Trump at the English Open before going down to Mark Allen at the Champion of Champions.

The Australian is yet to win a Triple Crown event – the World Championship, UK Championship and Masters – since being crowned UK champion for a second time five years ago at York Barbican.

Robertson is a four-time winner of snooker’s big three events and insists the pressure won’t faze him as he sizes up world No.19 McGill.

“It’s something I’ve been used to for the last 11 or 12 years,” he added.

“If you just manufactured pressure from the outside it wouldn’t really be anything I feel. Each tournament I know if I play at my best I have a great chance of winning.

“I just have to focus on my own game, regardless of how well anybody else is playing.”

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