Neil Robertson scrapes past Selby in epic Champion of Champions semi-final
Neil Robertson is through to the 2020 Champions of Champions final after edging out Mark Selby 6-5 in an epic last-four encounter at the Marshall Arena.
Boasting a combined total of 36 ranking titles and 12 victories in Triple Crown events, the two players served up a Friday night feast in Milton Keynes, with six centuries and further five breaks over 50.
But it was defending champion Robertson who held his nerve in the decider; setting up a showdown with Judd Trump or Mark Allen in Sunday’s final.
Appearing in the Champion of Champions semi-finals for the first time since the inaugural event in 2013, Selby drew first blood with 70.
World number three Robertson responded with 68 before the Jester dominated frame three with runs of 54 and 81 edging him back in front.
The Australian had won four of the previous five meetings between the players – including a 6-5 victory in the English Open semi-final last month – and hit back with 100 square things up at the interval.
And although Selby produced a stunning 131 total clearance, the 2010 World champion took a scrappy sixth frame to level once more.
Four consecutive centuries followed with the tension only bringing the best out of the two players.
Two total clearances of 137 by Selby sandwiched efforts of 141 and 121 from Robertson to send the contest into a decider.
Having enjoyed a 100 per cent success rate against the Leicester cueist in deciding frames – prevailing on all four previous occasions – the reigning champion ensured that impressive record with a run of 54 seeing him over the line.