Neil Robertson edged past world number one, Judd Trump, 10-9 to win his third Snooker UK Championship in what was an unforgettably epic late-night final.
The Australian collected the trophy and £200,000 in prize money at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes, for the first UK Championship to take place without any spectators in attendance.
An electrifying contest of high breaks and impeccable cue ball control was expected, but it was a tactical fight. Neither player was at their best and the pair battled it through until 00:55 GMT when, after a war of attrition Neil Robertson was crowned Champion.
They shared three centuries in four frames to make it 4-4 after the first session, and there was no more than one frame between them throughout.
Robertson looked set to finish runner-up in the Triple Crown event as Trump rolled in the colours in the final frame, but the world number one missed the last pink to hand Robertson the latest of reprieves. He made no mistake.
Robertson forced a decider, winning it after a battle of more than an hour.
Robertson and Trump had cruised into the final with lightning breaks and impressive potting, but they quickly shelved any hopes of a snooker blitz and set about trying to gain a stranglehold in the numerous safety battles.
The Australian Robertson is snooker’s most successful overseas player, had been beaten in two finals this year, including the Champion of Champions, but gained revenge over Trump for beating him at the English Open in October.
Since the start of last season, Bristol’s Trump has been a class apart, claiming a record six ranking titles last term and a further two from four finals this year.
The 2019 world champion has always been a proficient potter, as well as being armed with a first-class tactical game and exceptional temperament, but uncharacteristically he came up short in the latter stages.
Trump has little time to process his defeat, he is due to play Alexander Ursenbacher at 7pm in the Scottish Open at the same venue on Monday. Robertson is scheduled to face Lei Peifan in Tuesday’s afternoon session.
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