Day four at the Championship and although the shocks have been plentiful already this week I think its safe to say that today we had the biggest so far as the 2010 champ & second favourite for the title this year,Neil Robertson crashed out 10-6 to Michael Holt.
Holt has been playing well of late and with a recent tv victory over Ronnie to his name started confidently in this one,quickly establishing a 3-0 lead.Robertson though started to find his scoring boots and with fine runs of 60,101 & 107 drew things level at 3-3.
It now seemed he had weathered that early storm,but Holt came out strong in the next,taking it with a 115 of his own,before also claiming the next to go 5-3 & then the last of the afternoon on the black to again lead by three at 6-3.
Into the evening then and despite what had gone before Robertson was still favourite with the bookies to advance to the last 16.This however is a very different Michael Holt to the fragile player of old and in a series of closely fought frames he moved himself to the brink at the interval leading 9-4.Robertson to his credit managed to pull two back when they resumed,but it was too little too late as Holt took the frame he needed to record a famous 10-6 win.
Huge disappointment for Robertson who has never really been able to reproduce since,the form he showed in winning the UK last December.It'll be a case of back to the drawing board for him as he tries to get to the top of the mountain again,For Holt though he can now look forward to a last 16 clash against another left handed former world champion,Two time winner Mark Williams.
Elsewhere two other former champions built on large overnight leads to book their place in the last 16
Coming into this mornings session with a 7-2 lead Mark Selby's thoughts would have been on putting this to bed quickly,whereas his opponent Robert Milkins would have been setting himself a target of winning the first mini session 3-1 to get back in the match.As it happened Milkins did even better than that,flying out the blocks to take the first four frames in little over an hour to pull himself back within one at 7-6.
This game was now very much back in the balance and the first frame after the interval took on monumental importance.Thankfully,from Selby's point of view he took it to stop the Milkins surge and duly went on to take the two as well to seal his place in Round two,winning in the end 10-6.
Also holding a 7-2 overnight lead coming into today was John Higgins,but despite losing the opening frame of this afternoons session to Ryan Day,there was to be no sweat lost for the four time champ as he reeled off the next three he needed to record a 10-3 victory.He can now look forward with confidence to a last 16 clash with Ricky Walden later in the week.
Finally in matches that started today both Mark Allen & Barry Hawkins enjoy overnight 6-3 leads over Mitchell Mann & Zhang Anda respectively