Betfair Masters snooker: Neil Robertson to play Graeme Dott after win over Shaun Murphy
By Paul Higham Twitter: @SkySportsPaulH. Last Updated: January 20, 2013 7:20am
Neil Robertson: Back into the Masters final
Defending champion Neil Robertson will play Mark Selby in the Masters final after a 6-2 victory over Shaun Murphy.
Only three players have ever successfully retained the coveted Masters trophy, and now Robertson has the chance to join that select group after overwhelming Murphy at Alexandra Palace.
The Australian left-hander banged in two centuries, a 127 and a 132, to make it six for the tournament as he maintained the fine form he has shown throughout the event.
Robertson will now go up against Selby on Sunday for the coveted trophy after the world No 1 recovered from a dismal opening session to finally overcome Scotland's battling Dott 6-5.
Dott rattled in 111 and 75 to open up a 4-1 lead in Saturday's first semi-final, but missed chances to ease home as Selby eventually stumbled over the line past midnight.
Selby said: "It was pathetic. We both struggled out there, it was strange. I did not feel comfortable at all, I just felt flat.
"Hopefully, I can come back fresh for the final. It will be a tough game against Neil and I need to play 10 times better. If I do turn up and play, it will be a good match."
Robertson came from 68 points down to win the fourth frame against Murphy and moved 3-1 ahead after getting a snooker on the final red, although the world No 4 responded by grinding out the fifth after 38 minutes to make it 3-2.
A missed red from Murphy in the next saw Robertson again come from behind to clinch the frame, and his 127 in the seventh - his sixth century in the 17 frames he had won in the event up to then, put him on the brink of the final.
Murphy moved ahead once more in the eighth frame, but again he could not finish it off and the Aussie hit back again and won through to Sunday's final where he will face either Mark Selby or Graeme Dott.
Robertson will join Stephen Hendry, Cliff Thorburn and the late Paul Hunter as the only players to successfully defend the Masters title if he can win on Sunday.
"This is the first tournament I ever saw on television," said Robertson after his win. "This event has got such great traditions, obviously it would be amazing to join that select group who have defended it but there's still one match to go."
Robertson says he has been working on his break building after criticism from Hendry, and he is convinced he is still improving as a player.
He added: "I've made quite a lot of centuries in my career so it's not like I'm terrible, but my potting gets me out of trouble a lot of the time - I'm still nowhere near the finished article but I'm getting better all the time.
"It makes it so much easier when you don't have to pot a lot of tough balls but it's something for me to work on. I'm 30 now so it's good that I can still work on things and improve."