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Neil Robertson sets sights on Stephen Hendry’s Crucible century record

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Robertson is looking to complete the Home Nations grand slam this week (PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo)

Neil Robertson is confident he can break Stephen Hendry’s long-standing century record with a strong run at the Crucible this year.

The Thunder is a red-hot favourite to go all the way in Sheffield following a magnificent season, in which he has captured four titles.

Champion here in 2010, Robertson made a strong start to his latest quest for a second Crucible crown; hitting four centuries on the way to a 10-5 victory over debutant Ashley Hugill earlier this week.

Seven-time winner Hendry holds the record for compiling the most tons during a single World Championship, making 16 as he was runner-up to Peter Ebdon in 2002.

The Australian has reached double figures three times at the Crucible; achieving a best tally of 11 in 2015.

The world number three believes he is still yet to truly fire on all cylinders at the spiritual home of snooker this year, but feels that surpassing Hendry’s record tally is more than achievable if he does.

“One year, I made 11 and lost in the quarter-finals; last year, I made 10 and lost in the quarters,” he said.

“If I go all the way, I think I could certainly make over 20 centuries in the tournament, for sure.

“I’m capable of making six or seven centuries in a row, so I’m waiting for that session to happen. [On Monday] I wasn’t too far off making four in a row.

“I’m waiting to get into that blitz mode. It would be great if it can actually happen.”

Among Robertson’s supporters during his win over Hugill was mother Alison, who recently arrived in the UK having not seen her son for three years due to the ongoing pandemic.

Alison was present when he reigned at the Crucible in 2010, as well as his 2013 UK Championship triumph and recent Tour Championship victory.

And Robertson is hopeful she will serve as a lucky charm for him once more in Sheffield.

“Three years is a long time not to see your mom,” he added.

“The fact she had already been here for three weeks makes it much easier for me to play here than what it would’ve been when I won it when she literally arrived at the start of the final.

“That put me under a huge amount of pressure because not only was it very emotional seeing her for the first time in nearly a year, but also I felt like I had to win for her because she’d flown all that way.

“She’s got a good track record whenever she’s come [to England]. When I won this, she was here; when I won my first UK Championship, she was here, and she was here for the Tour Championship.

“We’ve got a 100 per cent strike record, so hopefully she is my lucky charm.”