• China Open

Defending champion Robertson survives scare in China

ESPN staff
April 3, 2014
Neil Robertson has won all of his matches in a deciding frame © Getty Images

Defending China Open champion Neil Robertson booked his place in the quarter-finals after coming through an epic 5-4 battle against Yu Dela.

The world No.1 has gone the distance in all three of his encounters so far at the penultimate ranking event of the season. He led 3-1 but lost three frames on the spin as Yu looked to cause an upset.

However, a break of 91 pulled Robertson level at 4-4, before the 2010 world champion came from 28 points adrift to claim victory after four hours in the deciding frame with a 60 break.

"It almost feels as if I have won the tournament, winning three 5-4s. The way I feel it's an unbelievable achievement. I have been on reserve fuel level in every match, with just the tiniest bit left," Robertson said, who has been battling with a virus throughout the tournament.

"I need some sleep and rest because I'm so tired. I'm only getting three or four hours sleep each night. Perhaps I'll have recovered a bit more by tomorrow. I am proud of myself for how well I have done here."

Ding Junhui, who is looking to equal Stephen Hendry's record of lifting five ranking events in one season, beat four-time world champion John Higgins 5-2 with top breaks of 72, 87 and 124.

World No.2 Mark Selby ended Jimmy White's run in the event easing past his opponent 5-1. Despite the loss, White's chances of retaining his World Snooker Tour Card have been given a major boost having recorded three wins in the tournament.

Ricky Walden put out recently-crowned World Open champion Shaun Murphy 5-3, while Ali Carter was a 5-3 winner over Peter Ebdon, with Graeme Dott beating Luca Brecel 5-2.

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