Selt held his nerve in a dramatic finish
Neil Robertson’s hopes of winning his home tournament for the first time ended prematurely as he lost 5-4 to Matthew Selt in the first round of the Australian Goldfields Open.
Melbourne’s Robertson has been runner-up at the tournament in Bendigo in reach of the last two years, but this time he failed to make it past the last 32 stage.
World number 30 Selt went 4-0 up with top breaks of 83 and 63. Robertson surged back to 4-4, winning the eighth frame on the last black to raise the crowd’s hopes of a successful fight-back. But a marathon 55-minute deciding frame went to Selt as he potted the final blue after a long safety battle.
“I dominated to go 4-0 up but then I started to feel the pressure when Neil came back at me,” said Selt, who has twice reached the quarter-finals in Bendigo. “I had chances to win earlier so I was lucky to get over the line in the end.”
Selt now faces qualifier Mark Joyce, who scored a surprise 5-2 win over Mark Allen, making breaks of 85 and 73 in the last two frames. “I scored heavily all the way through and I’m happy with the way I played,” said Walsall’s Joyce. “There are going to be 16 losers in this round and no one wants to fly half way across the world to lose, so a lot of people are under pressure.”
World number one Mark Selby enjoyed a comfortable 5-1 win over Mark King, highlighted by a superb 141 total clearance in the fourth frame. “The first three frames were a bit scrappy and I could have lost all of them so I was pleased to be 2-1 up,” said Selby. “But after I made a good break in the fourth frame I had more rhythm.”
Michael Holt top scored with 75 in a 5-0 win over Gerard Greene while Joe Perry saw off Jamie Burnett 5-3 with a top run of 84.
Robert Milkins ended the challenge of local wild card Adrian Ridley, winning 5-1. Yarrawonga’s Ridley, who beat Ben Woollaston yesterday, said: “It was a fantastic experience for me, I just struggled a bit with the nerves. I’ll learn a lot from it and hopefully come back stronger next year.”
Mark Selby missed this event last year but looked sharp on his return to Bendigo