2020 European Masters winner and world number two, Neil Robertson, has now made clear his reasons for not participating in the ongoing Gibraltar Open.
The blonde offered the explanation to fans amidst suggestions that he had given away his chances of claiming the ultimate bonus prize for the European Series.
There are a host of other players who will be playing no part in the competition as well. Stephen Maguire, Mark Allen, Graeme Dott, Jimmy White, and Ali Carter are the other players who have withdrawn from the tournament over health fears with nearby Spain, having confirmed 50 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
The 2010 world champion says he is currently ill and would prefer to stay back and look after his daughter, who is also ill.
“Just a quick one regarding my Gibraltar withdrawal,” said the world number two on Twitter. “Not feeling the greatest myself and my daughter is very unwell but on the mend. Usually, this would be enough for me to withdraw, especially so close to the Tour Championship. Health comes 1st before any bonus on offer.”
Ali Carter also withdrew due to health concerns. Carter, who has long battled lung and testicular cancers, is suffering from Chron’s disease. The brilliant cueist was told not to travel on medical grounds, having had a rather compromised immune system.
World champion and number one, Judd Trump is poised to make history as he could potentially be the first man ever to win six ranking tournaments in a season. This becomes the case if he comes out victorious at the Gibraltar Open.
Juddernaut will be licking his lips at the thought of playing top amateur player Lee Prickman in the round of 128. Prickman and Gareth Lopez, who is scheduled to take on Joe Perry, were handed wildcards as the leading players of Gibraltar.
Should Trump win the tournament, he could lay claim to the £150,000 up for grabs. However, it won’t be much of a spectacle as it should be with only 100 fans to be in attendance amidst coronavirus fears. Trump and Robertson are the two leading players on the merit standings, and the former could topple his closest rival should he win the tournament.
Written by: Roland Arum