Neil Robertson had no complaints whatsoever after the defeat of Jack Lisowski in Crucible and said the World Snooker Championship is not afraid of him despite yet another early exit.
The Thunder from Down Under were out in an epic Crucible classic when Lisowski squeezed the second round match 13-12, despite the Australian making a 147 break along the way.
The jackpot was excellent and there was no shame at all in losing to him, but it extended Robertson’s surprisingly poor record at Sheffield, which has seen him reach just one semi-final since lifting the 2010 World Cup.
The 40-year-old came to South Yorkshire this year as a tournament favorite after an excellent season but still could not return to the one-table set-up.
He insists there is no mental problem developing with getting to Crucible, but he points out he played perfectly against Lisowski but barely fell short.
The game’s free-flowing attacking spirit actually left Robertson in a pretty good mood, or as good as it could be after a World Cup defeat.
“If I was scared to get here, I would have played awful in the match,” he said. ‘It was an incredible match, so when you look at it that way, losing is no problem.
‘It’s just when you lose, when the fights are not on your terms. This is probably the first time I have lost to what would be called an out-and-out attacking player since I lost to Ronnie [O’Sullivan] in 2012.
‘All the other times I’ve lost to guys who have made it really, really hard for me. Tried to make it scrape, really fight and stay in the frame. It’s the best mood I’ve been in since I lost to Ronnie in the neighborhood in 2012, I think. So no one complains at all. ‘
A one-time world champion is something incredible, and it only illustrates how highly one thinks of Robertson that many are surprised that he has not added more world titles to his collection.
Of course he would love that, but he is not about to beat himself up with the fact that he is not yet a multiple world champion.
‘Look, if I only win it once, do you look at my record, how could I complain about my career at all?’ said Robertson. ‘When you look at so many players struggling to just stay on tour.
A bit like the situation where Pep Guardiola keeps being asked why he has not won Champions League med [Manchester] Town.
‘I’ve had an incredible career, achieved everything I could never have dreamed of 100 times, so it’s not a problem for me to come here.’
The current Masters champion also had no complaints about the venue, after saying he finds it too small to play properly in the past.
“No not at all,” he said. ‘I set up my club with some bar stools in the row to copy the kind of distance you have. I almost never touched the walls in and around, so I was really happy with my preparation. There were absolutely no problems at all. ‘
A classic way of losing a big match, Robertson added of the win: ‘Jack played the match of his life. It was an incredible match and it was played the right way. I have nothing but praise for Jack because he just did really well. ‘
MORE: ‘Let’s get it!’ Jack Lisowski ready for World Snooker Championship challenge after beating Neil Robertson
MORE: John Higgins rates Ronnie O’Sullivan, Mark Williams and himself as ‘better players than we’ve ever been’
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