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Ruthless Neil Robertson whitewashes Zhou Yuelong to claim European Masters title

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Robertson seals his first ranking title of the season (Photo by Eurosport)

Neil Robertson claimed the 2020 European Masters title in emphatic fashion with a 9-0 whitewash of Zhou Yuelong in the final in Austria on Sunday.

The world number five maintained his record of having secured silverware in every calendar year since 2006 as he triumphed in the first ranking event of 2020 in Dorbirn.

It is the first whitewash win in a two-session ranking event final since Steve Davis’ success (10-0 vs Dean Reynolds) in the 1989 Grand Prix and marks the 17th ranking title of Robertson’s career.

“I don’t really know what to say about the result because you never really expect a final to be played like that,” admitted Robertson.

“I played fantastically well, up there with my best-ever performance in a final.

“For Zhou, I guess he’s been unfortunate but hopefully he’ll have a lot of positives to take, I’m sure it won’t be long before he’s a ranking event winner.”

Robertson had dropped just six frames in his four victories in the main event and drew first blood in the final by taking an edgy opening frame on the final pink.

The Australian then doubled his lead with a break of 57 before falling agonisingly short of a century on 99 on the way to making it 3-0.

Robertson made no mistake in registering a ton in the following frame as he fired in a terrific 128 before leaving Zhou pointless again courtesy of an 82 break in the fifth.

It went from bad to worse for the Chinese youngster as he watched Robertson clinch back-to-back frames for seven in a row, before a clinical 109 made it 8-0 at the close of play in the first session.

Zhou, appearing in his first ranking final just days after his 22nd birthday, looked to be on course to avert the whitewash after the restart, but a 35-minute frame went the way of Robertson as he sealed the deal at the first time of asking.

Robertson’s win sees him pocket £80,000 in prize money to climb two places to third in the world rankings and hit the front in the race for the £150,000 BetVictor European series bonus.