This year’s final of the Scottish Open will be a battle between Australia and China after both semi-final matches produced a surprise scorelines.
Neil Robertson will take on China’s rising star Cao Yupeng on Sunday with the winner to net £70,000 and the Stephen Hendry trophy.
Former world champion Robertson appears to be back to his best form after he defied the odds to beat home-favourite John Higgins in a thrilling Saturday evening semi-final at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena. The result was even more impressive given Higgins 24 hours earlier thrashed pre-tournament favourite Ronnie O’Sullivan 5-0.
Robertson beat Higgins 6-4 after storming away in the early parts of the match winning the first four frames playing his attacking brand of snooker which earned him the world title more than seven years ago.
The Australian, who has recently documented his problems off the table in recent times, has not won a major ranking event since lifting the Riga Masters title in the summer of 2016. That run has seen him drop out of the provisional top 16 ranking which has seen him miss out on a place of the Masters next month.
But reaching the final has ensured Robertson will start 2017 back into the top 16 of World snooker’s elite stars.
And the Australian will face Cao Yupeng who is enjoying the best week of his snooker career ever. The Chinese talent also upset the odds book by beating Judd Trump to secure a place in his first ranking final.
Earlier in the week Yupeng – ranked 67 in the world – made his first career 147 and looks set to win a further £22,000 should Robertson not make a maximum break in the final.
Despite Trump being the overwhelming favourite to win the match, Yupeng took control early doors as a break of 88 saw him go 3-1 up at the interval against the world number 3.
Trump, bidding to win his second ranking title of the season following his European Masters triumph, then won the next two frames to level the scores at 3-3.
But Yupeng completed the biggest win of his career winning three of the next four frames to seal a place in the Scottish Open final.
The Scottish Open is the season’s third Home Nations event. Ronnie O’Sullivan won the English Open in October and Mark Williams was crowned the Northern Ireland Open winner last month. The Welsh Open will be held in February.