Neil Robertson has expressed pride at the part he has played in the history of snooker, after moving up to seventh on the list of all-time ranking tournament winners.
The Australian crushed Ronnie O’Sullivan 10-4 to win the Tour Championship, which was his 20th ranking title and moved him above Mark Selby.
Robertson almost gave up the sport after falling off the tour as a teenager, but he worked on his game and has become one of the most decorated players in snooker.
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The Australian and Ding Junhui have been the flagbearers for overseas snooker players, and he is proud that other are coming through.
Yan Bingtao won the Masters in January to follow in the footsteps of his fellow China star Ding, and Robertson hopes more overseas talents will emerge.
“Being from overseas, it adds something different that the majority of the tour don’t face,” Robertson said. “There are more players from overseas coming in, which is great, and it makes me feel great about what Ding and I have been able to do.
“It was all British domination with the sport and not many people had been successful in staying in the UK for a long time, so myself and Ding have been able to do that and it is just nice to be part of the history of the game where we have been able to break that open and create chances for people like Yan Bingtao winning the Masters, and it is all part of being part of snooker history and I am glad I have been able to play a part.”
Robertson’s focus now shifts to the World Championship in Sheffield next month.
Being able to stay focused over multiple sessions is key to his chances.
“I have beaten Ronnie before, but never over a multiple-session match,” he said. “If I am to compete at the World Championship, I have to do that.
I will have to compete in every session and I have done that in all of my matches. I have been there in every session and been there to pick up the pieces when someone has made a mistake."
Crowds are expected to be back at the Crucible, and Robertson feels that will play to O’Sullivan’s advantage.
“The crowd adds a different dynamic,” the 39-year-old said. “It is different when he has 90% of the crowd with him and he has his tail up.
“That is going to add something in the World Championship, and the other players will have to be prepared for that when they play him.”
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