Neil Robertson twice narrowly missed out on claiming his 100th century break of the season on his way to booking his place in the quarter-finals of the Dafabet world snooker championship in Sheffield yesterday.
The world number one defeated Mark Allen 13-7 at the Crucible but his landmark 100th century will have to wait for another day after the Australian fell agonisingly short in the final two frames of the victory – missing pots when on 94 and 92.
The match resumed with Robertson leading Northern Ireland’s Allen 9-7 but the Melbourne-born cueman wasted no time in racing to victory, with breaks of 59, 69, 94 and 92 wrapping up the win.
“Throughout the whole match Mark kept sticking with me and I thought he played really well,” said Robertson.
“He’s always going to score really heavily but his safety was really good and I didn’t have many opportunities at long balls. I was really happy to be 4-4 and at 9-7 I was delighted because I won quite a lucky frame. I had quite an unbelievable fluke on the green, so to come out today, I knew I had to come out and play really well.
“Those last two frames I was like a cricketer on 190. It was unfortunate. I missed the black with one red left and I thought I hit the black perfectly and I was about to celebrate but it rattled in the jaws.
“That frame there, I missed a really tough red down the cushion and I thought I hit it pretty good again but it wasn’t to be. The snooker gods are going to keep you guys waiting.”
Robertson admitted he would have loved to have struck his 100th century in the session in front of seven-time world champion Stephen Hendry.
“I was gutted because Hendry was in the commentary box as well and I would have loved to do it with him in there,” the Australian said. “Hopefully, for the next couple of sessions he can be in the box as it would be good to do it in front of him.”
Dominic Dale claimed a 13-4 win over Michael Wasley, Shaun Murphy overcame Marco Fu 13-8.