Robertson: 'accomplished' Wenbo an underachiever

Sportsbeat
·3 min read
2010 world champion Robertson reckons a behind closed doors O'Sullivan will be as lethal as Sergio Aguero up front
2010 world champion Robertson reckons a behind closed doors O'Sullivan will be as lethal as Sergio Aguero up front

Liang Wenbo crashed out of the World Championship and first round nemesis Neil Robertson says the world No.34 is an underachiever, writes Will Jennings.

The Chinese player, who lives in Oxfordshire, lost 10-5 to Robertson in the 2015 UK Championship final and that score was repeated at the Crucible after Wenbo could only muster a single frame in Sunday’s evening session.

Wenbo won the 2016 English Open but Robertson, who won the World Championship in 2010 and has racked up 18 ranking event titles, reckons the 33-year-old should have achieved more with a cue in hand.

“He’s a very accomplished player and certainly should have done a lot more in the game up until this point,” Robertson, 38, said.

“He’s a ranking event winner - he’s spent a few years in the top 16 as well, so he’s always hovering around the top 16 or 20 in the world mark.

“So it was a really tough draw - as a seed, you want to play a debutant here for sure, and all the seeds have won now, which I thought was quite surprising.

“I thought without the crowd there might be a few more upsets, so it’s quite interesting.”

This was Wenbo’s seventh appearance under the storied Sheffield lights but the one-time ranking event winner has failed to get past the second round since his memorable debut back in 2008.

There he embarked on a brilliant run to the quarter-final, where he was eventually beaten by five-time king of the Crucible Ronnie O’Sullivan after a valiant performance.

He started strongly against the experienced Robertson in this year’s contest, watching the Thunder from Down Under make a fine 140 from the chair but hitting back to restore parity in the second frame.

And the underdog then took the lead in a scrappier third frame before another Robertson century pegged the Chinese star back.

Robertson made two more fifty-plus breaks to gain a foothold in the match but an end of session rally from Wenbo meant the pair went to the interval with the Australian leading 5-4.

And that break did the 2010 world champion the world of good as Wenbocould only win a solitary frame in the evening and had his hopes of progression dashed.

Robertson will now play either Barry Hawkins or Alexander Ursenbacher in the second round, while it’s back to the drawing board for Wenbo who knows he needs to improve if he’s to shake off that undesirable reputation from the world No.2.

Live snooker returns to Eurosport and the Eurosport app. Watch the World Championship from 31st July -16th August with analysis from Jimmy White.