Bexhill snooker star enjoys fine run in Gibraltar Open

Snooker star Jimmy Robertson enjoyed a fine run to the Gibraltar Open quarter-finals.

Monday, 16th March 2020, 2:29 pm
Updated Monday, 16th March 2020, 2:30 pm
Jimmy Robertson clutching the European Masters Trophy back in 2018. Photo courtesy of World Snooker / Tai Chengzhe

The Bexhill-based world number 24 won four matches at the Europa Point Sports Complex, two of them against full ranking event winners and former top 16 players.

Robertson began with a 4-0 first round victory against Ricky Walden, the current world number 41 who was once ranked as high as sixth. He sealed the win with a break of 106.

The 33-year-old then saw off 73rd-ranked Craig Steadman 4-2 in round two, helped by runs of 60 in the final frame and 50 in the opener.

Robertson - the 2018 European Masters champion - prevailed 4-3 in a see-saw third round battle against world number 17 Joe Perry.

Breaks of 53, 50 and 110 fired Robertson into a 3-0 lead, but he scored just 13 points in the next three frames as Perry got back on level terms aided by runs of 77 and 74.

Robertson rattled through the decider 112-0, however, thanks to breaks of 57 and 55.

More big breaks followed in a 4-1 fourth round success against Rory McLeod. After losing the opening frame, Robertson reeled off the subsequent four with runs of 68, 107, 71 and 74.

His progress ended with a 4-3 loss against 28th-ranked Chinese cueman Xiao Guodong in a tight contest where there was never more than a frame between the two players.

Robertson's top break was 56.

Despite the defeat, it was still the furthest he had progressed in a World Snooker tournament during the 2019/20 season.

The event started with a crowd limit of 100 due to the coronavirus outbreak, but midway through it was changed to going behind closed doors.

Some referees became ill and were unable to take charge of matches, leading to the bizarre situation of players refereeing their own games in certain cases.

World number one Judd Trump was the eventual champion, becoming the first player ever to win six ranking titles in a single season.

St Leonards-based world number 32 Mark Davis lost 4-2 to 61st-ranked Martin Gould in round one, despite recovering from 2-0 down to level at 2-2 with a top break of 77.

Robertson and Davis will now turn their attentions to the World Championship Qualifiers, which are due to start on April 8 and are still scheduled to go ahead as things stand.