Snooker: Beaten Robertson tips Allen for the title

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The Independent Online

Neil Robertson declared Mark Allen the favourite for the Ladbroke Mobile Masters after the Northern Ireland man ousted the world champion to reach the semi-finals.

Robertson came away from the 6-4 defeat feeling there was little he could have done differently, with Allen, who goes on to play Marco Fu in the last four, making five half-centuries to his opponent's four in a clash requiring three hours to complete.

The Australian said: "I can't really fault my performance today, and say I played badly. Mark played really well today, and in my opinion he is now the favourite to win the tournament," he told

Allen won the opening frame, and also stole the second from 42-0 down with a run of 69. A wonderful break of 69 to the pink got Robertson on the board in an initially scruffy third frame, and a 56 in the fourth helped him level matters at the mid-session interval. Robertson went 3-2 ahead before Allen put 46 on the board to level at 3-3.

Robertson won the seventh before Allen made a 57 in the next and snookered the Australian, who also needed snookers himself. After failing to hit the final red, he conceded and the scores were level once again.

A composed 75 took Allen within one frame of the last four and, as the match time ticked beyond three hours, he took a 69-point lead in frame 10, which proved too much for Robertson to overhaul.

Fu booked his place in the semi-finals with a 6-0 whitewash of an out-of-sorts Peter Ebdon. The man from Hong Kong established a 2-0 lead on the final black and then sealed the next two with a breaks of 80 and 107 to lead 4-0 at the interval and, with Ebdon seemingly missing pots for fun, took a scrappy fifth before clinching his place in the semis with a run of 57 in the sixth.