NEIL ROBERTSON moved just win away from winning his second Dafabet Masters title of his career after thrashing defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-1.
The world number one put in a truly impressive performance at London’s Alexandra Palace worthy of his status as the world’s best player with a convincing win against the recent UK Championship winner.
It is the third time in four years Robertson has reached the Masters final.
O’Sullivan has been the sport’s dominant star in recent times so beating him by such a margin is certainly a big statement of intent from Robertson with the World Championship not too far away.
On Thursday Robertson described his quarter-final win against Ali Carter as the perfect performance and the Australian took that form into today’s (Saturday) first semi-final opening proceedings with a break of 100.
O’Sullivan looked certain to level things up during the second frame until he missed a frame-ball black on 63. Robertson punished him with an excellent 66 clearance to go 2-0 ahead.
And O’Sullivan let more chances slip away in the third frame as Robertson increased his lead to 3-0 after winning the frame on the final colours. O’Sullivan then raised hopes of a fight-back with a break of 101 to reduce his deficit to 3-1 at the interval.
But last year’s Masters winner he could not put Robertson under more pressure as break of 58 extended the Australian’s lead to 4-1 and in frame six a series of missed reds from O’Sullivan helped Robertson to an emphatic 5-1 lead.
Robertson’s run of 60 put him in charge of frame seven before he sealed victory after a safety error from O’Sullivan on the penultimate red proved ultimately costly.
Robertson will face the winner of tonight’s second semi-final between Mark Allen and Shaun Murphy in Sunday’s grand final. The winner will receive the prestigious Masters trophy and a cheque for £200,000.