Robertson edges out Trump in late-night thriller to complete UK Championship hat-trick
Neil Robertson captured his third UK Championship title after overcoming Judd Trump 10-9 in a dramatic late-night thriller in Milton Keynes.
The Australian completed a hat-trick of titles in the second-most prestigious ranking event on the circuit, sealing victory on the final pink after a gruelling deciding frame that lasted well over an hour.
Robertson, who climbs to second in the world rankings as a result of pocketing the £200,000 top prize, also demonstrated tremendous bottle with a nerveless 72 clearance from 48-0 down in the previous frame with his title bid on the line.
The 38-year-old made history earlier in the final with three centuries taking his tally for the tournament to 13 – a record in a single edition of the UK Championship.
Victory – secured just before 1am GMT at the Marshall Arena – made Robertson the sixth player to lift the trophy three times after Ronnie O’Sullivan, Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry, John Higgins and Ding Junhui.
He also moved level with world number one Trump on 19 career ranking titles.
Meeting in the final of a ranking event for the third time in 2020 – with Trump prevailing when they faced off in the German Masters and English Open showpieces – both players struggled to recapture the dazzling form that saw them cruise through their respective halves of the draw.
The first two frames were shared on the colours, while Robertson’s 69 was cancelled out by a 79 by Trump to make it 2-2 at the mid-session interval.
Despite breaks of 103 and 110 by the Aussie, who won two of the next three frames, the Ace responded with a stunning 128 total clearance to square things up at the end of the afternoon at 4-4.
Targeting his third ranking title of the season, 2011 UK champion Trump edged his nose in front for the first time in the evening as he took a scrappy ninth frame on the pink.
But Robertson – winner of this event in 2013 and 2015 – took three of the next four, making a neat clearance of 94 on the way to regaining the lead.
Back came Trump, who edged a gruelling 50-minute-long 14th frame after prevailing in the tactical battle, before controlling the next to go 8-7 up.
Robertson responded in trademark fashion with a history-making 115 total clearance – his 13th century of the tournament a new record total in a single UK Championship.
His opponent replied with runs of 53 and 42 moving him to the brink of victory, which appeared to be within touching distance as he compiled a break of 48 in the penultimate frame.
However, a missed red while awkwardly bridging over another was ruthlessly punished by Robertson, who calmly cleared to the pink with 72 to force a decider.
The Aussie established an early advantage in an hour-long battle, but it appeared his chance had gone begging after a loose escape from being snookered on the green.
But needing the clearance to win, Trump over-cut a tricky pink, which a relieved Robertson knocked in to complete the hat-trick.
It all came down to this pink 😨 #UKChampionship pic.twitter.com/tMtpewcgIZ
— Live Snooker (@Livesnooker) December 7, 2020