Neil Robertson has become the SIXTH star of snooker’s elite to have suffered a shock first round exit at this year’s World Championship.
The 2010 world champion was outplayed throughout his opening clash against Robert Milkins who admitted he had tears in his eyes after completing a 10-5 victory.
Remarkably it is the second time that Milkins has beaten Robertson in the opening round of the World Championship after he beat him 10-8 to upset the odds five years ago in 2013.
This defeat will be a huge disappointment for Robertson who once again has to wait in his bid to join the number of players who have won the World Championship on multiple occasions.
Robertson joins other top stars who have been knocked out in the first round this year including Mark Selby, Shaun Murphy, Stuart Bingham, Luca Brecel and Marco Fu.
After the match Robertson said problems with his cue tip did not help before and during the contest but admitted he was beaten by the better player.
“I had bad problems with my cue tip heading into the match, that was pretty evident last night,” he said. “Rob played so well that he never allowed me to recover from that.
“I put on a new tip this morning and had an hour with it and it was alright, but going out there is completely different. But I’ve got to give Rob credit for how well he played, he was relentless throughout. I had a slight sniff at 6-5 but he rattled off the last four frames amazingly well.”
Milkins will now face Mark Williams in the next round after the latter completed a 10-5 win over Jimmy Robertson.
A delighted Milkins said: “I played really well, I put a lot of pressure on Neil.
“It was looking at bit dodgy when he got it back to 6-5, but I nicked a frame and got spurred on, I saw the match out well.”
Meanwhile, John Higgins increased his chances of winning a fifth world title after he came through a tough battle against the talented Thepchaiya Un-Nooh from Thailand. Higgins won 10-7.
And Judd Trump’s bid to win the World Championship for the first time got off to a bright start when he won six of the first nine frames against Chris Wakelin.
But Crucible debutant Wakelin produced the highlight of the session by making a break of 141 – the tournament’s highest break so far. The winner of the high-break competition gets a jackpot of £10,000.
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