• UK Championship

Robertson holds off epic Bingham comeback

ESPN staff
December 6, 2013 « United facing anxious wait on attacking trio | Chartbeat test »
Neil Robertson led 8-3 before Stuart Bingham came back to send the tie into a deciding frame © PA Photos
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Neil Robertson survived a thrilling Stuart Bingham comeback to win a final-frame decider and book his place in the UK Championship final, where he will face either Ricky Walden or defending champion Mark Selby.

Bingham edged ahead with a superb 124 break before Robertson responded in fine fashion, sinking visits of 86, 68 and 81 to establish an 8-3 lead and move within one frame of victory. However, Bingham produced some unbelievable snooker to take five straight frames and level the tie at eight apiece - including a superb 107 to force a final frame.

The world No. 1 composed himself to scrape through the final exchange at York's Barbican Centre, beating his opponent 9-8 for a spot in the final.

"I didn't do much wrong from 8-3 to 8-8, Stuart just played some inspired snooker," Robertson told worldsnooker.com. "In the last frame I made a really good 59, then when I potted the black, Dennis Taylor went crazy in the commentary box and I could hear him.

"I had to tell him to calm down and I lost my focus and missed the red. In the end I was just so relieved to pot the last few balls, and I didn't want to celebrate because it was such a fantastic effort from Stuart. I wasn't rattled when it went 8-8 because it wasn't as if I had missed a lot of chances. Not many players would have stayed as calm as me and I'm really proud of the way I played the last frame.

"I have so many more gears to go up so I'm excited about the final and hopefully I can up my game. If I can win it would put me in a group of all-time greats who have won the World, UK and Masters."

Robertson sportingly called a foul on himself during the last frame, having established a short lead with a 59 break; staying honest to the game is something the Australian prides himself on.

"I'm very passionate about sport, and snooker and golf seem to be separated from a lot of others. Footballers are a disgrace, the way they dive and try to get other players booked or sent off, even though they earn a lot more money than us. Snooker players are as honest as they come."

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