Masters 2012: Robertson and Murphy Through To Final

For the second successive year heading into the second Sunday at the Masters, we are guaranteed a new name on the trophy as Neil Robertson and Shaun Murphy both made it through to the final for the very first time. In the case of Robertson however it was not without controversy…

In the first match of the day, Neil Robertson turned the tables on the man responsible for his defeats during the last two BBC events as Judd Trump failed to find his best snooker at the Alexandra Palace.

Indeed the tone was set early on as Neil took a tight opening frame, before doubling his advantage with a break of 100 in the next. The next two were shared as Robertson took a 3-1 interval lead, ahead of what would be a crucial fifth frame which would turn on a missed blue from Trump, which he would leave on to the left-centre for his opponent to clear.

From there Robertson added the next to lead 5-1, although as Judd won the next two to close to 5-3, it looked as though we might yet have a close finish in store. Today however was to be Neil’s day and he eventually wrapped up a 6-3 victory in the next, celebrating with a clenched fist and a shout of ‘come on!’ as was perhaps to be expected.

The story was not to end there however as Neil took the opportunity during his post-match interview with the BBC to criticise members of Judd’s entourage who he felt had been disrespectful to him during the course of the match, despite being pleasant to him in the player’s lounge earlier. Both players then had more to add during their post-match press conferences which you can read here at World Snooker.

Regardless of who is right or wrong, there appears to be a real rivalry building up there, one that has been evident since Neil suggested following his Crucible defeat to Judd that the youngster was not yet ready to lift the world title, something rebuffed by Trump at the time. For us fans of the sport, that can only be a good thing and it will be fascinating to see how their next meeting unfolds, something that on recent history at least we should not have to wait too long to see.

Before that for Robertson however comes a final tomorrow against Shaun Murphy after the 2005 world champion produced a fabulous display of scoring to overcome reigning world champion John Higgins this evening. While John appeared to be out of sorts, missing a number of blacks off the spot in particular, Shaun was in excellent form with breaks of 122, 101, 100, 86 and 69 more than enough to see him through a 6-4 winner.

Ever since that missed green from Martin Gould early in his opening match, Shaun has looked to be playing as well as I have seen him for some time, certainly as well as he has played in a major since he reached the final of the 2009 World Championship at the Crucible Theatre.

Which way will it go tomorrow? Will Neil maintain his flawless record in significant professional finals or will Murphy become the eighth player in history to complete snooker’s ‘triple crown’ of career World, UK and Masters titles?

Join us from 2pm tomorrow for live chat of what is sure to be a riveting final.