Joe O’Connor stuns Neil Robertson to reach Scottish Open final
Joe O’Connor will play Gary Wilson in the Scottish Open final after an impressive 6-3 victory over Neil Robertson on Saturday.
The Leicester cueist is through to the first ranking showpiece of his career, where he will face Wilson following the Tyneside Terror’s 6-4 win over Thepchaiya Un-Nooh earlier in the day.
O’Connor claimed another notable scalp in Robertson, having already beaten Zhao Xintong, Ding Junhui, Mark Williams and Ricky Walden at the Meadowbank Sport Centre in Edinburgh this week.
Meanwhile, the Australian missed his latest opportunity to become the joint-most successful player in Home Nations history by landing a fourth title, which would have moved him level with Judd Trump.
Robertson was a 6-0 winner in his only previous meeting with O’Connor at the 2014 UK Championship, and it looked like this meeting could unfold in a similar manner when the world number four opened with a stunning 137 total clearance.
But the world number 55 ensured there would be no repeat of that whitewash, a run of 57 helping him turn the contest around for a 2-1 lead.
2017 Scottish Open champion Robertson, who dropped seven frames on the way to his second semi-final in as many Home Nations tournaments, was aiming to join Mark Selby as only the second multiple winner since the event returned to the calendar in 2016.
He responded with back-to-back centuries of 127 and 116 to regain the advantage at 3-2, but O’Connor levelled with a marvellous 137 break.
The match then swung firmly in favour of the Leicester cueist, who produced a sublime 47 clearance to snatch frame seven on the black, before taking the next on the blue to move one from victory.
A Welsh Open semi-finalist in 2019, O’Connor had only reached one quarter-final since – that coming at the 2021 German Masters.
However, his timely upturn in fortune this week could well have a fairy-tale ending, as a run of 71 sealed a maiden appearance in a ranking final.