Neil Robertson is the most successful snooker player from outside of the UK and widely regarded as one of the best long-potters and break-builders in the history of the sport.
The Australian is one of 11 players to have completed the career-triple crown of World Championship (2010), UK Championship (2013, 2015 & 2020) and Masters (2012) titles and is a former world number one player.
In 2014 Robertson became the first player to compile over 100 century breaks (103) during a single season and is one of just five players to have compiled over 700 career centuries.
He also holds the proud distinction of having won at least one professional tournament during each season from 2006-2020, a streak extended most recently at the 2020 European Masters when he became only the second player to record a whitewash in a two-session ranking final with a 9-0 demolition of Zhou Yuelong.
Robertson’s amateur achievements included victory in the Australian Under-18s Championship, as well as becoming the youngest player to make a century break in an Australian ranking event at 14 years of age.
Within two years he had turned professional for the first time, although it was not until 2003 after he won the World Under-21 Championship in New Zealand that he would begin to make a mark at the sport’s top table. He reached his first ranking event quarter-final at the European Masters and notably qualified to compete at the Masters for the first time, losing 6-2 to local hero Jimmy White.
In 2005 he qualified to play at the venue stages of the World Championship in Sheffield for the first time, losing out 10-7 to Stephen Hendry and a year later broke into the world’s top 16 for the first time.
Robertson claimed his first ranking event title at the 2006 Grand Prix in Aberdeen, a 9-5 success against Jamie Cope seeing him become the first Australian player ever to do so.
Further success followed at the 2007 Welsh Open (def. Andrew Higginson), 2008 Bahrain Championship (def. Matthew Stevens) and 2009 Grand Prix (def. Ding Junhui) as he established himself as one of the sport’s leading players. He also reached the semi-finals of the World Championship for the first time in 2009, losing 17-14 to Shaun Murphy.
World Champion and Number One
It was in 2010 that Robertson would achieve a lifelong dream as he became world champion for the first time in Sheffield.
Having entered the tournament in strong form having made his first professional 147 break at the China Open earlier in the month, he reached his first Sheffield final following a series of victories which most notably included an extraordinary comeback against Martin Gould in the second round as he overturned deficits of 0-6 and 5-11 to ultimately win 13-12.
In the final he would face former world champion Graeme Dott of Scotland, ultimately prevailing 18-13 to become the first Australian player to lift the trophy at the Crucible Theatre. Later that year Robertson would become only the eighth player to attain snooker’s world number one ranking by defeating Ronnie O’Sullivan 5-1 to win the World Open in Glasgow.
Triple Crown, Further Success
In January 2012 Robertson would add the presitigous Masters title to his CV as he defeated Shaun Murphy 10-6 to become the first champion at the tournament’s new home at the Alexandra Palace in London. Further final appearances at the event would follow in 2013 (l. Mark Selby) and 2015 (l. Murphy).
He would go on to claim the UK Championship for the first time the following year, defeating defending champion Mark Selby 10-7 in the final to become only the eighth player and the first from outside of the UK to win each of snooker’s ‘triple crown’ events at least once.
Two years later he would again claim glory in York, in doing so becoming the first player to compile a 147 maximum break during a triple crown final as he defeated Liang Wenbo 10-5.
Robertson is also a two-time winner of the Champion of Champions tournament (2015 and 2019), making him the only player other than Ronnie O’Sullivan to have won the event more than once. His 2019 success against Judd Trump was particularly notable as Robertson required snookers in the penultimate frame, eventually winning the match 10-9.
WST Ranking Event Titles (19)
- 2020/21: UK Championship
- 2019/20: European Masters, World Grand Prix
- 2018/19: Riga Masters, Welsh Open, China Open
- 2017/18: Scottish Open
- 2016/17: Riga Masters
- 2015/16: UK Championship
- 2014/15: Wuxi Classic
- 2013/14: Wuxi Classic, UK Championship
- 2012/13: China Open
- 2010/11: World Open
- 2009/10: Grand Prix, World Championship
- 2008/09: Bahrain Championship
- 2006/07: Grand Prix, Welsh Open
WST Minor-Ranking Event Titles (4)
- 2014/15: Gdynia Open
- 2012/13: Gdynia Open
- 2011/12: Warsaw Classic, Alex Higgins International Trophy
Professional Non-Ranking Event Titles (6)
- 2019/20: Champion of Champions
- 2017/18: Hong Kong Masters
- 2015/16: Champion of Champions
- 2012/13: General Cup
- 2011/12: Masters
- 2003/04: Masters Qualifying Event, Championship League