Only a few would have thought China’s Zhou Yuelong could cause some real upset to Austria’s Neil Robertson, and they were a minority for a reason.
Yuelong was gunning for a maiden victory while Robertson has posted a ranking event at least once in 12 out of the last 15 ranking events. Such has been the Austrian’s consistency in the higher echelons of the game over the years that he has one at least one trophy every year since 2006. That’s not to say Yuelong didn’t stand some sort of chance. For someone who had gone all the way to the finals, a complete whitewash is the least you would have expected.
However, Robertson made it such a routine victory that you would have assumed the finals were mere snooker practice. In fact, that win was only the second time a two-session ranking event final has finished in a whitewash with the last one coming in the 1989 Grand Prix when Steve Davis took Dean Reynolds out with a 10-0 scoreline.
Speaking for Yuelong, he did offer some resistance. The first frame was a cagey affair between both players. However, it was the blonde who came out tops, posting a 56-47 scorecard in the process. It looked like Robertson was only out in the first frame to give Yuelong some level of hope because he never really looked back from then on.
A break of 57 in the second frame was enough for him to take the second frame with a 100-44 scoreline. It was, even more intimidating to see the Melbourne star post a 99-0 in the third frame. How close to a century was that? Yuelong was gutted. It was so bad that online polls were already being flown all over social media asking snooker folks to vote in favour of a whitewash for Robertson or not. Unsurprisingly, many fans thought it was going to be a whitewash, and they were so accurate.
In the fourth frame, Robertson ran his opponent into the ground with an exciting century (128-0) before hitting a break of 82 to secure the fifth frame.
Even the visit of a hummingbird to the table couldn’t stop Robertson’s triumphant march to the trophy table as the Austrian rounded up a perfect 9-0 win.
Written by: Roland Arum