Robertson boosts Masters chances

Tags: Neil Robertson, Dafabet Northern Ireland Open

Neil Robertson's main aim over the next few weeks is to secure a place a the 2018 Masters and he boosted his chances following his victory in the first-round of the Dafabet Northern Ireland Open. The Australian faced a potentially difficult opening match in Belfast against former World Championship quarter-finalist Jamie Jones, but he secured a relatively straightforward 4-1 victory thanks largely to breaks of 56, 52 and 83.


Next up for Robertson is a second-round clash with Englishman Billy Joe Castle and he will be hoping to enjoy a strong run at the event, as he has endured a disappointing season to date, reaching the last eight of just one ranking tournament. Indeed, the 2010 world champion is in real danger of missing out on a place at the 2018 Masters, as he is currently 17th in the race to the Alexandra Palace standings, with only the top 16 players securing their place at the tournament. Qualification for the event comes to an end after next month's UK Championship and Robertson knows he must produce some impressive displays between now and then if he is to reach the Masters for a 12th successive year.


"It is all in my hands to try and push on and catch the guys in front of me," Robertson was quoted as saying on the World Snooker website. "I would always rather be chasing the pack rather than looking over my shoulder. So players like Ryan Day and Liang Wenbo are the ones closest in front of me. It is up to us. Those who perform the best will get there." A tournament success in Belfast would certainly boost Robertson's chances and he is priced at 12/1 to claim overall glory at Waterfront Hall.


Dafabet Northern Ireland Open odds available at Dafabet.