NEIL Robertson set up a mouth-watering semi-final clash against Judd Trump in the Champion of Champions after a hard-fought win over in-form Ricky Walden at the Ricoh Arena.
The Australian produced a battling display to beat Walden 6-3 on Friday night and move into Saturday’s final four where he will meet fellow left-hander Trump in the evening’s final four clash.
Friday’s Group 3 final proved to be a close and tense affair with the scoreline level at 3-3 after six frames.
But tiredness seemed to kick in for Walden who may have still been recovering from his recent win at the International Championships in China and Robertson was able to claim the final three frames.
“With this sort of format it is going to be who can last the longest in the second match if it does get a bit tight,” said Robertson. “The match started off very well and the standard in the first four frames was brilliant.
“After that there was a bit more safety play and the turning point was me winning that frame to go 4-3 up on the black, and Ricky maybe started to tire a little bit and understandably so because he has just come back from a big win in China on Sunday.
“I have played Judd a few times and have both beaten each other in big matches, and both gone on to win tournaments when we have beaten the other, him in particular – he has beaten me two or three times and gone on to win big tournaments.
“We always seem to have strange matches, neither of us seem to play our best but it will be a great occasion; one table set up and in front of a big crowd.”
The afternoon matches saw 4-0 wins for both Walden and Robertson. The recent International champion beat Mark Allen while Robertson faced Ali Carter.
Today (Saturday) Ronnie O’Sullivan takes on Ding Junhui (1pm) in the first semi-final while Robertson goes to battle with Trump in the evening.