After shivering all the way to the last 16 of the UK Championship in Milton Keynes, Neil Robertson braved the temperatures at Marshall Arena.
The “Thunder from Down Under” fought the elements to beat Lu Ning 6-2 and hold alive his hopes for a hat-trick tournament.
The number three world champion, who was UK champion in 2013 and 2015, joined the chorus of players condemning the conditions behind closed doors at the venue after Judd Trump also discovered temperature faults after his third win in the round.
In the round of 16, Robertson will face semi-finalist Anthony McGill in the World Championship and is calling on tournament organizers to turn up the heat around the TV table.
“It was pretty cold in and around the table, and that’s usually a recipe for disaster considering how the pads are going to play,”It was very cold in and around the table, and that is usually a disaster recipe considering how the pads are going to play.
It was never a night where I could do some form of scoring. It was really hard, but you have to adapt to the various circumstances, and I felt I got it as well as I could.
I’m a firm believer that you just need to make things a little too hot if anything. If it’s slightly too hot, the table will play well.
“Players would rather be a little too hot than ask for a cup of hot water or tea to keep their hands warm. Make the course warm.”
Robertson defeated Brian Ochoiski and Chris Wakelin 18 times before knocking off world No. 37 Lu on Monday to reach the third round.
In Buckinghamshire, the Chinese player was far from his best yet steady breaks of 81, 60, 54 and 53 to send the two-time champion into the fourth round.
Robertson began the season impressively but failed to reach two finals. At the English Open, he lost 9-8 to world number one Trump and failed to defeat Mark Allen at the Champions Championship.
Since he was crowned UK Champion for the second time five years ago at the York Barbican, the Australian has yet to win a Triple Crown event – World Championship, UK Championship and Masters.
Robertson is a four-time winner of the three major events of snooker and maintains that when calculating world number 19 McGill, the burden would not faze him.
He said, “It’s something I’ve got used to over the last 11 or 12 years,”
I wouldn’t really feel it if there was just outside pressure. I know if I do my best in every tournament, I have a great chance to win.
“I just have to focus on my own game regardless of how well someone else is playing.”
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