NEWLY-CROWNED Wuxi Classic winner Neil Robertson has said he aims to play a faster game this season following his Crucible disappointment two months ago.
The Australian has decided to up the tempo of his game after his surprising first round exit in this year’s World Championship – a tournament many fans and pundits tipped him to win for a second time.
And the change of tactics has already worked wonders for the world number one after his 10-7 victory over John Higgins landed him the season’s first major trophy.
Sunday’s victory meant back to back ranking events in China for Robertson after claiming the China Open title earlier in the year.
Robertson told World Snooker winning the Wuxi Classic was one of his proudest moments of his career especially as he had doubts about his prospects in China earlier in his career.
“It’s unbelievable to win two titles in a row in China because a couple of years ago I would have been happy just to win back-to-back matches here,” he said.
“I’ve made a change to my game this season, I’m playing a lot quicker, especially compared to the match against Robert Milkins at the World Championship when I got too negative and played too slowly. This week I have attacked and played quickly. It helps get the crowd on your side if you are more fluent and I’m going to stick with it.
“I always knew I could win tournaments in the UK but there was a question mark over whether I could deal with playing in China. The playing conditions here this week have been the best I have ever played in. I’ll go to the Shanghai Masters in September full of confidence and there’s no reason why I can’t win three in a row in China.”
Robertson will now be putting all his focus on winning the next major tournament at his native homeland – the Australian Goldfields Open which gets underway in early July.
“To go to Australia as world number one and Wuxi Classic champion is fantastic and hopefully it will help give the tournament in Bendigo extra publicity,” he added.
Despite defeat, Higgins was keen to draw on the positives after a successful week in Wuxi.
“From 5-2, Neil played very well and showed why he is number one. He froze me out until 8-5,” he said.
“I’ve got to take the positives from the week because I feel as if I am hitting the ball well again.”