Robertson routs O`Sullivan to make Masters final

Neil Robertson raced into the Masters final as the Australian crushed defending champion Ronnie O`Sullivan 6-1 at Alexandra Palace in London on Saturday.  

AFP| Updated: Jan 18, 2015, 04:15 AM IST

London: Neil Robertson raced into the Masters final as the Australian crushed defending champion Ronnie O`Sullivan 6-1 at Alexandra Palace in London on Saturday.

Robertson delivered one of the best performances of his career in the last eight when he demolished Ali Carter 6-1 and the world number one was equally dominant as he handed O`Sullivan his first ever Masters semi-final defeat in his 11th appearance at that stage.

The 32-year-old`s superb display clinched his third appearance in the Masters final.

He will face Shaun Murphy on Sunday as he looks to secure a second Masters title in what will be a repeat of the tournament`s 2012 final, which Robertson won 10-6.

Robertson`s win over `The Rocket` also brought an end to O`Sullivan`s 15-match winning run in all competitions.

"I am really happy with the way I played, Ronnie was struggling but I put him under pressure early on," Robertson told BBC Sport.

"When he made mistakes, I had to capitalise, that was the key. He never seemed to settle," added Robertson, the 2010 world champion.

Meanwhile O`Sullivan insisted that, despite his recent run of results, he had not been at his best but that he`d managed to get away with less than ideal displays until running into Robertson.

"I have been digging in and scraping over the line but no-one has played well enough to expose my weaknesses," said O`Sullivan.

"Neil did today. He took me apart like someone of his ability and calibre would when they are comfortable with their game.

"I am relieved it is over but in some ways disappointed to have lost. Deep down, I knew it was coming," he added.

O`Sullivan, who had been looking for his sixth Masters title, soon found himself in trouble as Robertson took the opening frame with a 100 break before the Australian snatched the second after the five-time world champion missed a frame-ball black.

That became 3-0 before O`Sullivan finally showed what he was capable of with a 101 break in the fourth frame -- the highest clearance of the match and the 777th century of the Englishman`s record-breaking career.

However, Robertson responded with a 58 break in the next to go 4-1 up and there was no way back for an under-par O`Sullivan, with the world number one reeling off the final two frames to complete an emphatic win.

Saturday`s second semi-final saw Murphy, world champion in 2005, come from 2-0 down to defeat Mark Allen 6-2.

Northern Ireland`s Allen won the opening two frames with breaks of 83 and 62 before Murphy hit back with a run of heavy scores, including a 102-break.

Now the Englishman will look to complete snooker`s `triple crown` -- winning the sport`s three most prestigious titles of the World Championship, the UK Championship and the Masters -- against Robertson, one of a select group of nine players who has already completed that career treble.

"A lot has been said and written about me needing this to complete the triple crown," said Murphy. "As much as you try and ignore it, you can`t.

"It does mean so much to have another crack in the final. When Neil plays like he has done this week, he is almost unbeatable. It is my job to try and find a nick somewhere," he added.