World Open 2010: Robertson and Ronnie Through to Final

So much for the World Open lottery then! This evening’s World Open final sees reigning world champion Neil Robertson square off against triple world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan after both came through their semi-final contests earlier this afternoon…

The first man through to the final proved to be Ronnie O’Sullivan who brushed aside the challenge faced by old nemesis without too much difficulty, despite Ebdon playing with an average shot time of 54 seconds per shot at one stage!

The opening exchanges were rather cautious, indeed no ball was potted in the first ten minutes and a few years ago I suspect this would have affected O’Sullivan as it did during their 2005 World Championship quarter-final. This time however this never looked to be a possibility as a patient O’Sullivan eventually took the frame before a flawless run of 135 in the second left him on the brink of victory.

Ebdon to his credit responded well in frame three with a break of 69 to keep himself in the match but he has not looked like scoring heavily enough on a consistent basis this week to overcome someone of O’Sullivan’s class and so it proved as Ronnie took frame four to complete his win.

The battle of the left-handed, long-potting specialists in the second semi-final meanwhile proved to be an altogether closer affair as Neil Robertson came back from 2-0 down to book his place in the final.

The first frame turned on a bizarre shot from Neil when he attempted to roll up to the yellow only to see the cue ball seemingly roll off and miss. From the resultant snooker Neil then failed to hit the last red six times until he was left needing a snooker to tie, something that never came. A break of 81 then doubled Mark’s lead and it looked as though he would be through to another match with the man who ended his hopes at the Crucible this year.

Neil Robertson however had other ideas and levelled with breaks of 68 and 103 before overcoming an early slip-up to progress to another ranking event final. I have been really impressed with the world champion this week as he could have come out and struggled in his first BBC event since that night at the Crucible, but instead he has looked like the world champion and world number one that he will become shortly.

Can O’Sullivan end his 100% run in ranking event finals?