Friday, 20 January 2012

Robertson sets sights on Trump

Neil Robertson staved off a fightback from Mark Williams to reach the Masters semi-final and now sets about his task to tame Judd Trump.

The Australian potter looked in complete control of the battle of the left-handed world champions after building a 4-1 lead but was made to sweat before stumbling over the line 6-4.

Picture by Monique Limbos
Neil can breathe a sigh of relief but knows if he'll have to be more decisive if he wants to continue his run at Ally Pally and beat the boy wonder Judd.

On paper, Trump goes into tomorrow's clash as favourite but it is by no means a formality.

His performance against Ronnie O'Sullivan was worthy of beating anyone but he couldn't have done any more to fire up Robertson ahead their semi-final clash.

After beating him in the UK Championship just over a month ago, Judd accused Neil of being a slow player. The Aussie mentioned this in his post-match conference today, so it's obviously riled him and could work out to be perfect motivation.

Trump has the beating of most players right now and comes into this match with the comfort of victories against Robertson in both the World and UK Championships.

But it hasn't been all one-way traffic. You may remember Neil beating Judd 4-1 in this season's PTC8 final in Killarney.

The win was far from pretty but was perfect proof of how he's matured as a player.

Robertson appears to be paying far more attention to detail and has toughened up his matchplay snooker, tailoring his game for individual games in order to counter the style of his opponents.

This comes at a time when Neil also seems to be putting  more emphasis on his preparations for matches and tournaments.

This is the sure sign of a player coming of age and caring more about winning titles than style.

You should have no doubt Robertson will continue to go for his shots in this match but if he wants to reach the final he'll need to Judd on a tight leash. He has adopted a style of matchplay this season which makes him more equipped to do so.

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