World Snooker Championship 2013: Milkins beats Robertson

World Championship

  • Venue: The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield
  • Date: 20 April-6 May

Coverage: Live on BBC Two, BBC Two HD, Red Button and online on the BBC Sport website, mobile and BBC Sport app. Updates on BBC Radio 5 live

Robert Milkins held his nerve to beat Australia's 2010 champion and world number two Neil Robertson 10-8 in the first round of the World Championship.

The Englishman, ranked 19 in the world, edged a scrappy encounter by potting a tough brown at 8-8 and then making a break of 51 at 9-8.

Continue reading the main story

I didn't do much wrong

Neil Robertson

Robertson had led 5-2, having made a tournament-high 143 break on Wednesday, but the errors crept in on Thursday.

Gloucester's Milkins, 37, goes on to face Ricky Walden in round two.

Milkins admitted it was "the biggest win of my career" and he told BBC Sport: "Neil played really well in the first session.

"I did really well to stick with him. When I came out 5-4 behind, it felt like a bit of a victory, something to build on."

He added: "Today was a bit scrappy; I think I got him twitching a bit and I was twitching as well."

Analysis

"Milkins has long being known as a naturally gifted player but an underachiever with a poor temperament.

"As he freely admits, a few years ago his career going nowhere, he was a mess, heavily in debt and drinking too much. Now a proud father of two, Milkins has turned his life around.

"Contented away from the table, he's gunning for the top 16 under the expert tutelage of coach Terry Griffiths. This spectacular result against one of the title favourites is the icing on the cake."

Robertson joins John Higgins, Mark Williams and Peter Ebdon as the fourth former champion to have lost in this year's first round.

It was the Australian who made the bigger breaks (61, 62 and 86) in the final session, and he heaped the pressure on when requiring four snookers at 8-8 by getting three of them.

Milkins, making his first appearance at the Crucible since 2005, needed to dig in and he did so with a superb brown to stop Robertson in his tracks, before taking the decider despite missing a blue as he closed in on victory.

"I didn't do much wrong," said Robertson. "Today was strange. His safety was really, really good throughout the game and some of the best I have seen this season. I could have played better [but] he was fantastic.

"When you don't see many balls, you don't get much flow and I barely won any scrappy frames. I have barely seen him play all season but was not expecting his safety to be so good.

"I should have gone out to win the match rather than get too involved in the safety."

World number eight Stuart Bingham completed the last-16 line-up after beating newcomer Sam Baird 10-2 in the evening session.

He will play John Higgins' conqueror Mark Davis next as he bids to reach the quarter-finals for the first time.

Bingham said: "It was important for me to get the job done as soon as I could. I was tired because, despite leading 8-1 overnight, I didn't get a great night's sleep."