Neil Robertson edges through in Milton Keynes

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Neil Robertson survived a nightmare start to the final session to hand John Higgins more final-frame agony and win the English Open title in Milton Keynes.

For the second final in succession Higgins lost the last three frames after suffering an identical 9-8 loss in last month’s Northern Ireland Open final against Mark Allen.

Higgins had the first chance in the decider but beached on 22 when he over-cut a red, and Robertson shrugged off his earlier inconsistency to win the match with a break of 65.

Robertson, who lost last year’s final in a deciding frame to Judd Trump, said: “I found something from somewhere, and I played my best snooker towards the end of the match.”

Higgins had seized command of the final by winning the first four frames of the evening session and converting a 5-3 deficit into a 7-5 lead.

The Australian fired two centuries, including a 140 in the fifth frame, as he looked on course to land his 21st career ranking title.

But Higgins, who won the last three frames of his semi-final to sink Ronnie O’Sullivan, was far from finished and he got the better of four attritional opening frames of the evening session to take control.

The mid-session interval could not have come at a better time for the Australian, who looked entirely out of sorts, and he duly returned to stop the rot, capitalising on a Higgins in-off to reduce the deficit to 6-7.

A 55 helped Higgins move one frame from victory but Robinson clawed back with a half-century of his own, then delivered a brilliant 120 clearance to force the decider and ultimately seal victory.

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