Bank of Beijing China Open: Neil Robertson defeats Mark Selby in final
Last Updated: 31/03/13 6:02pm
Neil Robertson: win in China avenged defeat in Masters final
Neil Robertson claimed his first ranking title in two and a half years after beating Mark Selby in the final of the China Open.
The Australian had not won a ranking event since winning the World Open in September 2010, but gave himself the perfect opportunity to end that drought by taking a 6-1 interval lead in a drawn-out first session.
Reigning UK and Masters champion Selby managed to cut the deficit to two frames, but Robertson pulled clear once more to seal a 10-6 victory and enter next month's World Championship at the Crucible on a high.
In the process, former world champion Robertson avenged January's defeat to Selby in the final of the Masters.
Leicester potter Selby has the consolation of regaining the world No 1 ranking by reaching the final in Beijing this week.
Selby is looking to become only the fifth Triple Crown winner in Sheffield and the first since Welshman Mark Williams a decade ago.
The 29-year-old 'Jester from Leicester' will be in confident mood after beating Williams and Shaun Murphy to reach the showpiece encounter in Beijing.
It was Selby who won the opening frame with a break of 58 but that was as good as it got in an attritional first session.
Breaks of 50 and 91 saw the momentum turn in Robertson's favour and the Australian won the next two frames on the colours.
He then extended his lead and even though there were scheduled to be nine frames in the first session of this best-of-19 encounter, a prolonged affair ensured there were only seven played.
Tournament organisers called a halt to the action with Robertson in the driving seat at 6-1 ahead to allow the players some rest.
That seemed to work in Selby's favour, with the the Leicester potter making consecutive breaks of 81, 125 and 66 to reduce the arrears to two frames.
Robertson stopped the rot with an effortless 110 and then a fine break of 90 moved him to within one frame of victory after he had taken a scrappy 12th.
Selby refused to lie down, however, and runs of 116 and 63 helped him cut the gap to three frames, but Robertson showed his resolve to clinch victory in the 16th frame and become the 10th different winner in as many ranking events this season.