2021 Tour Championship – QF: Neil Robertson 10-5 Jack Lisowski

Coming into this tournament, Neil Robertson had won only one match since his 2020 UK Championship victory. He admitted that, after that massive win, he felt a bit flat and lacked motivation, but insisted that he was now refeshed and fully up for the last part of the season. Yesterday’s match certainly confirmed that Neil is back to form and highly motivated.

Here are the reports by WST:

Afternoon session:

Robertson Leads Lisowski

World number four Neil Robertson established a 6-2 lead over Jack Lisowski after the first session of their Cazoo Tour Championship quarter-final.

Robertson holds the upper hand in meetings with six-time ranking event finalist Lisowski. The Australian has won every time the pair have faced each other, holding a 4-0 lead in the head-to-head.

Lisowski is on the hunt for a maiden ranking title, having lost all three of his final appearances this season. The Gloucestershire cueman was runner-up to Judd Trump at the World Grand Prix, German Masters and Gibraltar Open.

It was Robertson who edged to an early lead, making breaks of 91 and 51 in establishing a 2-0 advantage. However, Lisowski ensured they went into the mid-session level with a run of 80.

When they returned Robertson assumed full control of proceedings. The Australian fired in breaks of 73, 112 and 116 on his way to four on the bounce to lead 6-2 heading into tonight.

Evening session:

Thunder Storms To Celtic Manor Semis

Neil Robertson blitzed to a 10-5 defeat of Jack Lisowski to book his place in the semi-finals of the Cazoo Tour Championship at the Celtic Manor Resort.

The Thunder from Down remains undefeated against six-time ranking event finalist Lisowski and now leads 5-0 in the head-to-head record between the pair.

This evening’s victory is a welcome one for 19-time ranking event winner Robertson. The Australian had a fine first half of the season, capturing the UK Championship title in December. However, he had been victorious in just one game since then before this evening, having pulled out of the Scottish Open and Welsh Open and decided against entering the WST Pro Series.

Lisowski will now turn his attention to next month’s World Championship. The Gloucestershire cueman has enjoyed a strong season, but has lost all three of his final appearances during the campaign. Lisowski has runner-up to world number one Judd Trump at the World Grand Prix, German Masters and Gibraltar Open.

Robertson carried a 6-2 advantage into tonight after an impressive end to the afternoon session, which saw him claim four frames on the bounce from 2-2.

It was Lisowski who started strongest this evening, after taking the opener, he fired in a break of 95 to pull within two at 6-4.

Robertson then stopped the Lisowski charge in its tracks with a break of 56 and added the following frame to head into the mid-session 8-4 ahead.

When they returned Robertson moved one from victory with a century run of 121. Lisowski then responded with a superb total clearance of 129. However, Robertson wasn’t to be denied and captured the 15th frame to run out a 10-5 victor. He now faces either Mark Selby or Kyren Wilson in the last four.

Robertson said: “I thought the way I finished off the first session was excellent. I knew Jack would have some kind of response, he maybe thought he was out of the match until he got a few more frames on the board.

“I was prepared to pounce on any kind of mistake he made. That is probably the next thing he has to do with his game, find that killer instinct. He can fly in matches against lesser opponents. It can take for him to go far behind against top players, before he relaxes and starts taking his chances.

“I feel really good. Some of the events I didn’t enter I felt as though I wasn’t going to give them 100%. I played really well in that, but ran into Kyren playing fantastically. I had no complaints and it was back on the practice table to prepare for this one and it was good to see my preparation paid off.

It’s interesting that Neil thinks its the “killer instinct” Jack is lacking. In the past, I had often the feeling that Jack lacked “intensity” and I wondered if his battle against cancer as a teenager and surviving it could explain that. It must be hard to see a sport, any sport, as a “death or life” thing when you have gone through that. And maybe, he hasn’t quite the stamina either.