Neil Robertson fights back for Scottish title

Neil Robertson (centre) is pictured with his partner Mille Fjelldal and his son Alexander as he claims The Stephen Hendry trophy
Neil Robertson (centre) is pictured with his partner Mille Fjelldal and his son Alexander as he claims The Stephen Hendry trophy
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HAS SNOOKER ever had a more deserving winner of a title than Neil Robertson’s miraculous comeback victory at the Dafabet Scottish Open?

The past 12 months have been a battle for the former world No.1, a fight against the off-table issues that has seen wife Mille overcoming anxiety and depression, a dual against his decline in the world rankings and a monumental tussle in the final in Glasgow.

Robertson can say that he’s been victorious on all those fronts.

Despite going into the match the strong favourite, the Australian found himself 8-4 down and one frame away from conceding one of the biggest upsets in recent memory to maiden ranking finalist Cao Yupeng.

But Robertson is a fighter and so he fought, climbing his way back into the match inch-by-inch, winning four frames in a row and then holding his nerve in the decider to triumph 9-8 to lift the Stephen Hendry Trophy.

“I just thought if my hands on the table I’m going to go for a red no matter where it is, and thankfully I got a few and maybe it just put him under pressure,” he said.

“It’s happened to everyone [Cao’s collapse], even Stephen Hendry’s missed balls under pressure so Cao can’t be disappointed with how he’s performed.

“For his first final it was an incredible effort and he was the better player today, he really was.

“It’s a fairytale ending, the fact that she [Mille] is getting the better, I’m so proud of her and just thankful I could repay her tonight.”

To the defeated, snooker can be a brutal sport and so this final proved once again, with Cao scratching his head at how he had lost out.

The man from Guangzhou played superbly to build that lead, firing in half-century breaks but then nerves hit and the door opened for Robertson.

The Australian brought things back to 8-6 and, by 8-8, it seemed only one winner would come as Robertson secured his first title since the 2016 Riga Masters.

n Watch the Scottish Open LIVE on Eurosport, Eurosport Player and Quest with Andy Goldstein and analysis from Jimmy White and Neal Foulds