Lisowski Claims Final-Frame Win Over Robertson On Classic Night Of Crucible Drama

Lisowski claimed the biggest win of his career against player-of-the-season Neil Robertson
09:07, 26 Apr 2022

On one of the great Crucible nights of drama Jack Lisowski claimed the biggest win of his career against player-of-the-season Neil Robertson in a thrilling encounter on Monday that went to a deciding frame before ‘Jackpot’ edged through 13-12 to the quarter-finals – where he will face John Higgins. 

The 30-year-old from Cheltenham is arguably the best player remaining on tour not to have won a ranking title, having lost six finals albeit to some of the sport’s very best players. But he was very much the underdog against world No3 and former champion Robertson. 

World No14 Lisowski is one of the very best and most talented players to watch on tour, but some occasional lapses in concentration have cost him dear over the years with frames and even matches at his mercy. In that respect, this epic victory may well prove to be a game-changer. 

Australia’s Robertson is one of the very toughest mentally around, and that Lisowski played well enough to take a 9-7 lead into the final session and then withstand the kitchen sink that the 40-year-old threw at him – including a magnificent 147 maximum break – bodes very well for his future. 

Lisowski said: “I have never experienced anything like that in my life. The cheer when I potted the red that got me over the line in the decider…I am completely drained, I gave that literally everything I had and it has to be the best win of my career. 

“Neil is the best player in the world at the moment and the way he came back at me on the night in the final session – it felt like he was punching me, I was losing all the energy in my body. But I was drawing on the things I have learned and thinking about the hard work I had put in.

“I did a really good clearance to force the decider…even if the last frame wasn’t great, but I got it done. I am trying to improve my tactical game, though I hit some bad safety shots. If you persist with the right things, maybe it comes good. 

“I was one ball away from going 11-7 up, and the next thing I know Neil has not only made a 147 but then won the next to be 10-10. Normally you’d be happy for the opponent making a max, but it happened at a crucial time. The interval actually came at a good time for me, because everything was spinning at that point. It was an amazing game and it deserved the maximum from Neil.” 

Robertson’s mum Alison was watching on in the arena. She had only recently arrived in the UK from Australia, after almost three years without seeing her son due to the pandemic. And although the left-hander was disappointed to lose, he was equally thrilled she had witnessed the Crucible 147. 

He said: “I am really proud of the way I came back to give myself a chance. Making the 147 to come back to 10-9 was just the most amazing moments I have ever had in  my career, at a crucial moment of the match with my mum here too and the crowd buzzing. 

“Making one here is on every player’s bucket list, and to then follow it up and win the next to go 10-10 left me feeling really good. But Jack made a great break to go 11-10, and then I am 12-11 up and looking like winning but I just don’t fall on a red at the baulk end. 

“At 12-12 I missed a couple of half-chances, but they are the small margins and I have to compliment Jack on the way he hung in there. In the dressing room after the match my mum said ‘Never mind but thank you so much for that magical moment’. I have had the season of dreams with four big titles, and beat some amazing players in those events.” 

On the other side of the dividing wall, things were only marginally less exciting as Anthony McGill came roaring back against the 2019 winner Judd Trump before eventually losing another classic match 13-11 to the Juddernaut. 

World No4 Trump, who next takes on Stuart Bingham in the quarter-finals, said: “Anthony played amazing in the final session, but coming in 10-6 behind he had just left himself with too much to do. 

“If he had been any closer, he would have brushed me aside and I am very happy he didn’t produce that form in the first two sessions because on that form you can see why he is so good at the Crucible. 

“I really didn’t want it to go to a decider, and was praying that wouldn’t happen. He got in first in the last frame and it looked like that might happen. I could hear Jack taking it to a decider on the other table and that was motivation for me to try and avoid one myself. 

“I was feeling good and if I had lost while I wouldn’t have taken it well, it was one of the best and most enjoyable sessions of snooker I have been involved in. I am also delighted for Jack, that is by a country mile the best win of his career. 

“Stuart is a tough competitor with a great record here, he is a really good breakbuilder and loves being a part of it at this stage. He beat me in the semi-finals seven years ago the year he won it, so maybe I can get a bit of revenge.” 

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