The Australian set the tone for a convincing triumph with a 128 break in the opening frame before following it up with a 59 for a 2-0 lead.

Hawkins steadied himself to draw level at 2-2 and then 3-3, but Robertson won three frames on the trot to book a spot in the final.

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"I'm going to be very determined tomorrow and nothing less than a win is acceptable," said Robertson.

"It's nice to get to the final of the first event of the season. But I don't want to come this far then get beaten in the final, especially as defending champion."

Joe Perry emerged victorious from the other semi-final with a 6-4 success over Martin Gould.

After the pair shared the first four frames, Perry claimed three consecutive frames to pull clear at 5-2.

Gould took frames eight and nine to ensure a tight finish, but Perry won the tenth 66-32 to seal a date with Robertson.

"It doesn't get any tougher than playing Neil in the final" said Perry. "If Ronnie O'Sullivan is in a tournament he's probably the hardest opponent, but if he's not in it then I'm sure every other professional would say it's Neil.

"His record in finals is phenomenal. We practise together all the time so I know his game and I've got nothing to be afraid of. I will have to play close to my best to have a chance of winning.

"The face that we are friends will add a bit of spice to the match, but in a nice way."

Sunday’s final between Robertson and Perry will be played over 19 frames with a cheque for £85,000 awaiting the victor.

Wuxi Classic – Semi-final results

Neil Robertson 6-3 Barry Hawkins

Joe Perry 6-4 Martin Gould

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22/01/2021 AT 22:41