NEIL Robertson was left far from pleased with playing conditions despite reaching the Wuxi Classic semi-finals after a thrilling deciding frame victory against Shaun Murphy.
The Australian, who won the tournament last year beating John Higgins in the final, now stands just two more wins away from defending his title after a clearance of 43 at the death earned him a nail-biting 5-4 win.
Locked level at 4-4 it looked as if Murphy was going to end Robertson’s reign in the competition when he held a 65-25 lead in the final frame.
However, the frame took a dramatic turn when a missed red on a break of 49 while looking to seal victory proved ultimately costly for the 2005 world champion as Robertson hit back to earn a place in the semi-finals.
But a frustrated Robertson was far from pleased with the conditions and took to Twitter to say the humid environment played a big impact on the quality of the game for both players.
“Feel for Shaun though as were both made to look stupid by the conditions,” he tweeted to his 54,000 plus followers on the social media website.
“Time for a change on the cloth we use. Six Reds last year played fine without heaters and it’s humid as it gets there.
“All the players have had enough of this. Last year the conditions were great as there was hot non-humid weather. But as soon as it rains, once the humidity gets inside the tables are so unpredictable. Sometimes you get away with it but a lot of the times you don’t.”
Robertson will hope conditions improve when he faces Barry Hawkins for a place in the final.
Hawkins was also involved in a thrilling nine-frame quarter-final battle against Marco Fu which saw the world number five star claim victory thanks to a match-winning break of 89 in the deciding frame.
Later in the day saw even more excitement as Martin Gould and Stephen Maguire played out another nine-frame encounter after sharing the first eight frames in a topsy-turvy contest which saw the latter hit the tournament’s highest break so far with 145 in the third frame.
But like the Robertson/Murphy quarter-final a crucial miss was to prove the key difference between the pair. Maguire looked to have clinched it when he led 57-0 in the final frame but a missed red enabled Gould to hit back in two visits to clinch the win.
And Gould, who made it to the semi-finals of a major ranking event for the first time, will next meet Joe Perry who increased his chances of landing his first major title with a 5-2 win over Robin Hull.
Wuxi Classic – Semi-Final Draw:
Neil ROBERTSON vs Barry HAWKINS
Martin GOULD vs Joe PERRY