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Change of approach helping Robertson

Neil Robertson believes a change of pastime away from the table has helped improve his snooker. The Australian produced a brilliant comeback on Tuesday to defeat world number 41 Matthew Selt and book his place in the last 16 of the International Championship. It was far from simple for Robertson in Daqing after he found himself 5-2 down before fighting his way to a 6-5 victory.

Unfortunately, he could not repeat the trick on Wednesday, seeing his run at the Baihu Media Broadcasting Centre cut short courtesy of a 6-2 loss to Merseyside’s Robbie Williams. However, the 2010 world champion has reaped the rewards of changing his activities during his downtime away from the table, having lost his temper as he went out in the third round of last year’s International Championship. The 35-year-old attributed his issues to playing too many video games and has subsequently switched his attention to more relaxing pursuits.

Despite Wednesday’s loss, a win already this season at the Hong Kong Masters suggests his approach has worked and he is currently 16/1 to win a second world title next year at the Crucible while he is 12/1 to claim the Masters. Robertson admits he has been encouraged by the difference putting the games controller down has made to his game and believes it will continue to pay dividends. “That was when I realised I had to give up video games because it was affecting my snooker. I haven’t played them for a year now,” he said. “Instead I do Warhammer, just painting my figures in my hotel room in between matches.”

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