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Snooker: Robertson outlasts Dott to claim first world title

Neil Goulding
Tuesday 04 May 2010 00:00 BST
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(GETTY)

Neil Robertson was crowned world champion in the early hours of this morning with a hard-fought victory over Graeme Dott here in Sheffield.

The Australian became the first overseas player for 30 years to win the famous Crucible title – and with it secured a first prize of £250,000. The world No 9's 18-13 triumph was finally achieved at 12.54am, equalling the latest ever finish for a Crucible final.

Ahead 9-7 overnight, Robertson was forced to dig desperately deep as the match dragged on. But the 28-year-old left-hander kept his concentration to clinch the fifth ranking title of his professional career.

"It feels incredible," Robertson said. "I seriously can't believe it. In my last 16 match I was 13-5 down to Martin Gould, so to have won is amazing. My mum being here is just brilliant, it's a wonderful feeling to have won."

Questions will be asked about the impact of the late scheduling of the final on television audiences. And the entertainment wasn't much to write home about with just one century in the entire best-of-35 frame contest. At times it was desperate with both players looking clearly fatigued.

Earlier yesterday, the opening session had ended prematurely because of the slow pace of play. The afternoon session was cut short to allow the players to rest, meaning there would be a possible 13 frames to play in the concluding evening session.

Robertson left for a well-earned break 12-10 ahead, the happier of the two players having at one stage threatened to pull even further away.

But Dott, the 2006 Crucible champion, made his experience count in his third world final. It went 12-11 when Dott won the first frame of the evening session, before Robertson knocked in runs of 55 and 51 to maintain his two-frame ahead.

The two continued to trade frames, the 27the lasting nearly nearly 45 painstaking minutes. But it was the Australian who continued to edge closer to the winning line despite the increasing tension.

Victory was finally assured when Robertson secured the 31st frame with a composed break to win by a five-frame margin and become the first overseas player since Canadian Cliff Thorburn to win snooker's premier tournament.

"Australian's love world champions," Robertson added. "It would have been awful to have lost in the final. Hopefully this will start something special in Australia now."

His opponent was gracious in defeat, and acknowledged that his own game had let him down on the night. "Neil thoroughly deserved to beat me, how I managed to get 13 frames is beyond me," said Dott.

"I'm just disappointed I didn't perform in the final, but fair play to Neil, because he played really well."

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