26th of April 2013 Author: Glo Wood
Robert Milkins managed to keep calm and steady an defeated Australia's 2010 champion and world number two Neil Robertson 10-8 in the first round of the World Championship in Sheffield. The Englishman, ranked 19 in the world, clinched the win by potting a tough brown at 8-8 and then making a break of 51 at 9-8. Robertson had led 5-2, having made a tournament-high 143 break on Wednesday, but he started making quite a few mistakes in Thursday's session. Milkins will face Ricky Walden in round two.
Milkins said it was "the biggest win of my career" and he added: "Neil played really well in the first session. I did really well to stick with him, the last two frames were vital. When I came out 5-4 behind it felt like a bit of a victory, something to build on for today. Today was a bit scrappy; I think I got him twitching a bit and I was twitching as well." Robertson is the fourth former champion to leave this year's tournament after the first round, joining John Higgins, Mark Williams and Peter Ebdon.
The Australian made the bigger breaks (61, 62 and 86) in the final session, and he put Milkins under tremendous pressure on when requiring four snookers at 8-8 by getting three of them. Milkins kept cool and potted a superb brown to stop Robertson, before taking the decider despite missing a blue on his way to victory.
"I didn't do much wrong," said Robertson. "Today was strange. His safety was really, really good throughout the game and some of the best I have seen this season. I could have played better but he was fantastic. When you don't see many balls, you don't get much flow and I barely won any scrappy frames. I have barely seen him play all season but was not expecting his safety to be so good. I should have gone out to win the match rather than get too involved in the safety."
Robertson was joint-favourite with Ronnie O'Sullivan to win the tournament according to the bookmakers, let's see how the odds for an outright win at Bet365 have changed at the end of the first round:
Ronnie O'Sullivan - 10/3
Judd Trump - 4/1
Mark Selby - 4/1
Ding Junhui - 5/1
Shaun Murphy - 10/1
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