• Wuxi Classic

Defending champion Robertson through to Wuxi Final

ESPN staff
June 28, 2014
Robertson is hoping to move alongside Jimmy White with a tenth ranking title of his career © PA Photos

World No.3 Neil Robertson booked his place in the Wuxi Classic final with a 6-3 win over Barry Hawkins as he moved one step closer to defending the title he won twelve months ago.

Robertson, 32, will face Joe Perry on Sunday for the £85,000 top prize after the Englishman beat compatriot Martin Gould 6-4 in the second semi-final in China.

Australian Robertson raced into an early lead with breaks of 128 and 59 but was pegged back by his opponent in the third and fourth frame. Robertson regained the ascendancy thereafter and eventually pulled clear of Hawkins to secure his berth in Sunday's final.

Robertson had criticised the playing conditions at the opening ranking event of the year after his quarter-final win over Shaun Murphy but insists he is fully focused on claiming his tenth career ranking title.

"I'm going to be very determined tomorrow and nothing less than a win is acceptable," Robertson said afterwards.

"It's nice to get to the final of the first event of the season. But I don't want to come this far then get beaten in the final, especially as defending champion. I want to go to Australia with this title under my belt."

Perry has yet to win a ranking event during his 23-year professional career having finished runner-up in the European Open in 2001. Having shared the first four games with Gould, Perry assumed control of proceedings by racing to a 5-2 lead before wrapping up victory despite a late rally from his opponent.

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