Sunday, 13 January 2013

You beauty

A passionate Neil Robertson shouted "you beauty" as he sunk match ball to beat Ding Junhui 6-5 in a dramatic Masters opener at the Alexanadra Palace.

Picture by Monique Limbos
That shows just how much this means to him.

The defending champion found himself 5-3 down against Ding, who was mixing hard matchplay snooker with his trademark brilliant breakbuilding.

He was asked to dig deep and, once again, delivered the goods under the pressure. This is one of the Aussie's finest qualities.

It's a mark of how difficult a tournament the Masters is to win that only three players have ever managed to defend the title; Paul Hunter was the last in 2002.

Robertson faces a hard task to follow in his footsteps, but has shown on his first outing that he is more than capable.

He has overcome a very tough first hurdle, seems to be able to produce in London and definitely isn't lacking in the desire and determination departments.

Robertson has just had the first word. It's up to the rest of the field to respond and show they want this trophy as much as he does.

Summing up of the first day of action at the Masters wouldn't be  complete without a mention for Mark Allen.

The Northern Ireland man put in a top class performance to defeat Mark Davis 6-2. He was quick, clinical and flamboyant, at times as he made light work of a match in tournament where every match is difficult.

Tenacious Allen has the flair that epitomises the Masters. His fearlessness is the exact kind of quality required to triumph in an event so strong. He said after his win that he still has a lot of improving to do, which would have made for ominous listening for the rest of the players.

Every time I watch him play he looks like he is getting closer to winning one of the biggest titles. Could it be his week in London?

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