Snooker: Late burst sees Neil Robertson home


Defending champion Neil Robertson pulled out all the stops to make it through his first-round tie at the Masters, winning the last three frames to beat Ding Junhui 6-5.

In the opening match of this year's tournament, the Australian looked set for an early exit as Ding opened up a 5-3 lead, scoring heavily.

But Robertson showed the steel needed to be a champion and dug in, saving his best until the late stages with runs of 100, 62 and 90 and a hands-aloft celebration towards the end of the decider showed how much it meant.

It looked as though Robertson would squander a 2-0 lead, as Ding pulled level with breaks of 103 and 56. After Robertson edged back in front, Ding kick-started his three-frame run with a 127 break. But Robertson got a century back, before pouncing on a positional error by the Chinese player in the 10th.