Neil Robertson’s participation in next week’s Champion of Champions is no longer in his own hands after he was knocked out of the International Championship earlier today.
The Australian suffered a surprise 6-2 defeat to Robbie Williams in the lat 16 round meaning he is left relying on others if he is to take the last renaming vacant spot for the popular Coventry based event.
Robertson, a former winner of the Champion of Champions, has competed in every edition of the ITV4 televised event since it made its debut in 2013 but is now facing the very real possibility of missing out for the first time.
This is largely due to the fact Robertson has not won a ranking event since July 2016 when he lifted the Riga Masters.
But because of his victory in the non-ranking Hong Kong Masters at the start of this season, Robertson still has a chance of making it through because of the tournament’s unique qualifying structure,.
For this to happen he has to hope either Mark Selby, John Higgins or Judd Trump will go onto the lift the International Championship trophy on Sunday. If any other player does then Robertson will not feature at the Ricoh Arena next week.
Meanwhile, Williams will play in just his second major ranking quarter-final of his career on Thursday following his run to the semi-finals of the Indian Open four years ago.
But he faces another tough opponent in the form of defending champion and world number 1 Mark Selby who impressed to beat Mark Williams 6-4. Selby now stands just three wins away from winning what would be his first ranking event since lifting the world championship for a third time back in May.
Ali Carter remains in with a chance of winning the huge £150,000 prize after he continued his solid form with a 6-2 win over Shaun Murphy.
INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP – QUARTER-FINAL DRAW
Mark Selby vs Robbie Williams
Ali Carter vs Martin Gould
Judd Trump vs Mark Allen
Yan Bingtao vs John Higgins
Carter next faces Martin Gould who followed up his 6-5 win over Kyren Wilson with a 6-4 victory against Robert Milkins.
Judd Trump hit two more centuries as he defeated Chinese number two star Liang Wenbo – setting up a quarter-final tie against Mark Allen who came back from 3-0 and 5-4 down to beat Martin O’Donnell in a final frame decider. The match saw four century breaks.
And Yan Bingtao’s hopes of winning his first ranking event at the age of just 17 remain well and truly alive after he came back from 4-3 down to beat the in-form Jack Lisowski. Bingtao memorably thrashed Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-1 at the start of the week.
Next up for the teenager will be another stern test as he comes up against John Higgins. The four times world champion cruised to a 6-1 win over Mark Joyce.