Day six at the 2013 Betfair World Championship and another big name bites the dust.with the elimination of the 2010 Champion Neil Robertson at the hands of Robert Milkins.
Starting this afternoon with Robertson holding a narrow 5-4 lead the type of session we were going to have was evident in the very first frame,Milkins taking it by doubling the blue after 45 minutes of action.Milkins also won the next to take a 6-5 lead before Robertson leveled with a 84..This pattern continued with a series of tight frames that were traded one for one taking the score to 8-8
Things were getting more tense by the minute and the match was to hinge on a long 17th frame that would eventually go to Milkins,but not before Robertson had got three of four snooker he had needed to try and get back into it.Milkins was again in first in the next but broke down on 51 giving the Aussie one last chance.As was the case all afternoon though Robertson couldn't make the most of it and Milkins won the frame to seal a famous 10-8 victory
For Milkins this will rank with the best in his career and he spoke afterwards about just how far he had sunk in his personal life before turning it around.At 37 he joins Mark Davis (40) and Mark King (39) in knocking out some of the so called big guns this week and it may well be the case that with the increase in tournament could well have the impact of lengthening some players careers as they are now constantly getting match practice as opposed to having to try motivate themselves to go down the club.
For Robertson though this will be a bitterly disappointing result.No doubt he will look back at the first session where he was playing well and lead 5-2 but let the last two frames slip as the key moments in the game.I have felt for some time that he tends to start looking for problems that aren't there when the pressure comes on and this has the effect of knocking him out of his natural stride.It has been a joke I've had with a friend of mine that he is slowly turning into Peter Ebdon and I can kind of see what my friend is saying.He really needs to use the off season to reassess his approach to the game,That may sound harsh on someone who has had the season he had,but if he is to be challanging for the real big titles he needs to get back to playing to his strengths .
In last remaining first round encounter,Stuart Bingham rounded off a 10-2 victory over Sam Baird having com into the session leading 8-1.He will no doubt have a tougher time when he takes on Mark Davis in round two.
Elsewhere in the second round clash between the two former world champions,it is the 2005 winner Shaun Murphy who holds a 6-2 lead over the 2006 winner Graeme Dott.With everything that was going on in the last week the performance of Murphy in round one has gone mainly unnoticed,but he was arguably the player of the round and he started here in the same vain with two centuries in the opening four frames. He didn't quite match it after the interval but he goes into the second session tomorrow morning in a very strong position.
In the other second round match which started tonight Michael White holds a commanding 7-1 lead over Dechawat Poomjaeng.who failed to reproduce the snooker that saw him beat Maguire in the last round.He will have to find something special in the second session if he is to keep his remarkable run going.