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Neil makes the final at the China Open 2014 in Beijing

31 March 2014 No Comment

The China Open television stages were held in Beijing from March 31 to April 6, 2014 and features 64 players plus 4 wildcards. Neil was the defending champion. Li Hang lost in the last 64, Judd in the last 32 and Yu Delu in the last 16. Neil was unwell all week and had a few very difficult days, but still managed to reach the final where he lost 10-5 to Ding. Very well done Neil, under the circumstances, and congratulations to Ding for his 5th ranking title of the season.

Wildcard Round

Yu Delu 5-2 Chen Zifan
69-13, 64-51, 37-59, 21-61, 80(71)-16, 129(129)-8, 81(66)-0
After a very slow going and scrappy start (the 4 first frames were shared and took over two hours), Yu found his stride and after the MSI scored heavily and totally dominated his opponent.

Last 128

Neil Robertson 5-4 Anthony Hamilton
67(60)-59(59), 16-81(56),61-78, 64-42, 66-1, 62-51, 23-72, 0-84(84), 71(57)-4
Neil was still fighting the flu and was far from his best, Anthony struggled as well and missed some crucial balls. Neil said afterwards on twitter that this must be the biggest win in his career. It was that hard!

Yu Delu 5-3 Duane Jones
101(59)-0, 32-70, 65-50, 104(104)-0, 11-51, 69(69)-17, 0-128(128), 68(62)-9

Kurt Maflin 1-5 Judd Trump
5-65(54), 40-83, 55-68(62), 53-60, 80(80)-0, 0-96(70)

Marco Fu 5-3 Li Hang
82(50)-26, 97(97)-0, 0-136(136), 24-76(51), 46-65, 77(68)-14, 70-63(55), 100(51)-12

Last 32

Neil Robertson 5-4 Mark Williams
68-43, 51-25, 41-79(58), 60-7, 1-74(74), 120(86)-1, 63(63)-67(54), 42-58, 87(86)-0
A rather scrappy match with very few big breaks and lots of twists and turns, especially before the MSI. Neil did play a good deciding frame after letting slip a 4-2 lead.

James Wattana 1-5 Yu Delu
56-45, 6-78(78), 9-82(81), 19-68(67), 9-73, 9-70(51)

Peter Ebdon 5-4 Judd Trump
65-51, 6-92(63), 123(65,58)-6, 4-74(70), 24-70(62), 78-0, 33-60, 78-0, 90(86)-1
Judd who was scheduled for morning matches in last 64 and last 32, complained about feeling too jet-lagged to be able to compete at his best. Peter on the other hand, always seems to find some form from nowhere in Beijing.

Last 16

Neil Robertson 5-4 Yu Delu
37-67, 77-17, 76(60)-41, 54-16, 13-110, 29-80, 23-66, 119(91)-12, 79(60)-32
Neither at their best and it was a very long, scrappy match. Yu came from 3-1 down to lead 4-3. But, for the last two frames Neil found something, forced a decider and won it in one visit… the third this week!

Quarter Finals

Neil Robertson 5-3 Graeme Dott
42-71, 72-44, 78-44, 69-28, 78(71)-71, 4-87(64), 19-80, 70-1
Very hard fought as you would expect with Dotty. Graeme came back from 4-1 to 4-3 but Neil eventually prevailed. The 5th frame was particularly tense with Graeme 71 behind in the frame battled back for a respotted black and got it. He still lost that frame and it might well have been the decisive moment in the match although Graeme did take the next in one visit.

Semi Finals

Neil Robertson 6-2 Ali Carter
84(69)-5, 93(79)-26, 76-62(62), 83(70)-5, 59(59)-64(57), 0-110(106), 69(67)-8, 81-63
Neil eventually found some form as he was starting to feel a bit better. Ali made 3 breaks over 50, including the only century of the match and still won only 2 frames. Scary.

The Final

Neil Robertson 5-10 Ding Junhui
0-98(87), 0-93(61), 58-67, 74-21, 0-123(119), 6-110(59), 20-71, 102(102)-1, 57-71, 63(57)-13, 5-125(104), 64-49, 0-87(67), 74(57)-9, 13-98(66)
Neil never really got going during the first session and trailed 7-2 at the end of it. He made it a match in the second session – frames were shared in the evening – but he had a mountain to climb and still wasn’t at his best. Great achievement though given his poor health all week. Ding played extremely well in spells and deserves a lot of praise. This is his 5th ranking title of the season – he’s equalled Stephen Hendry record during the 1990/91 season. No mean feat!

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