Jimmy Robertson is through to the last four of a ranking event for the first time in his career after defeating Masters champion Mark Allen 4-2 in their quarter-final clash at the D88.com European Masters in Lommel.
Robertson has endured a week packed with tension after each of his previous three matches went down to the final black in a final frame decider. On this occasion he managed to get the job done with a frame to spare.
With the score at 1-1, Robertson made his move. In the third frame he equalled Jack Lisowski’s high break of the week with a sublime 135. Robertson then pulled within one of victory at 3-1 thanks to a run of 81.
Allen made it 3-2, before Robertson took charge of the sixth frame. He reached the snookers required stage, but spurned several opportunities on the green to get over the line. Robertson then went in off to give Allen one of the two snookers he needed, but he eventually secured a landmark victory.
“When the brown and the blue went in it was massive relief,” said Robertson. “It is a great feeling. I’m buzzing at the moment. Hopefully I can just relax and enjoy the semi-finals.
“I seem to struggle in the early part of tournaments. This is the best I’ve felt all week, even if it didn’t look like it. That was the most comfortable I have felt out there.
“It would mean everything to win on Sunday. We are all playing to try and win tournaments. This is completely new to me. I’ll take one match at a time and if I do get to pick up the trophy I’ll be delighted.”
Robertson will face Mark King, who recorded an impressive 4-1 defeat of Ryan Day to book his last four spot.
King has been in fine form this week and had already dispatched 2015 World Champion Stuart Bingham in a 4-0 whitewash win.
The 2016 Northern Ireland Open champion will have some interesting living arrangements this evening as he is sharing a chalet with his opponent Robertson.
King said: “Once we shake hands it will be war. We are good pals and it is nice to see him do well. He probably should have done better over his career. We have all been through pressure and money worries before, this will be a nice pay cheque for both of us.”
Anthony Hamilton secured his semi-final spot after beating Jack Lisowski 4-3 in a deciding frame.
The Sherriff of Pottingham emotionally won his maiden ranking title at the 2017 German Masters after 26 seasons as a professional. However, since then he has struggled with back problems which kept him from finding his best form.
Hamilton now believes he has managed to get his injuries under control and only Joe Perry stands between him and a return to ranking event final action.
Perry also negotiated a deciding frame in his 4-2 defeat of China’s Tian Pengfei.
The Gentleman had trailed 3-2, but kept himself in it with a fine contribution of 69 in the sixth frame. He then completely controlled a tactical decider, which lasted 44 minutes, to book his place in the last four.
The 2015 Players Champion Perry and Hamilton will contest the first semi final at 12pm UK time.