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Not only is Neil Robertson on course to win back-to-back Tour Championship titles but with it is laying down a marker as the man to beat at this year’s World Championship.

The superb Australian goes into today’s final with John Higgins with a feeling of invincibility around him – and is more than capable of winning the match with a bit to spare.

Everything just feels right in the Thunder’s camp at the moment.

Of course it helps to be playing great snooker and there can be no doubt around that for Robertson. But beyond this he has two more killer ingredients in his game which set him up perfectly ahead of the Crucible.

Firstly, he is battle ready. He can play this game whatever which way it goes and isn’t afraid to tough it out if needed. And secondly, he has a champion’s aura. He looks like a player who believes he will win out on the table even if the pattern of play isn’t in his favour. He demonstrated this in abundance in his semi-final win over Ronnie O’Sullivan. The Rocket knocked in a barrage of five centuries in their thrilling match but it still it wasn’t enough and there felt like an inevitability about Robertson’s cool break of 80 in the deciding frame which proved to be his killer punch.

Timing is often everything in this sport and it just feels ominously as though Robertson is in the right place at the right time. Full of confidence and ready to deliver of the table.

Having already won the Masters, the Players Championship and the English Open this season, the Melbourne cueman now has the chance to make an excellent season, a dream season.

First up, there is a lucrative £150,000 to play for today in Llandudno and with it he would secure his second consecutive title at this event reserved for the eight top players of the season.

With the quality of opposition and because the matches are played across a challenging best-of-19 frame format throughout, this is a difficult title to win and to do it twice in as many years really shows that he thrives when he plays the biggest players on the biggest stage of a single-table setup.’

You can never count out Higgins

That’s enough waxing lyrical about Robertson – because the man sat in the other chair deserves more than just an honourable mention.

Robertson’s opponent today is the always classy Higgins who despite not winning a title yet this season is through to his fourth final having been a figure of consistency especially in the early exchanges of the campaign.

The Wizard of Wishaw has not been at his best this week in Llandudno but has managed to beat both of this season’s UK Championship finalists, Zhao Xintong and Luca Brecel including the former despite trailing heavily at 8-4 before winning it on a decider.

It’s an age old cliche but you can never count Higgins out. He is the master of getting results even when he’s not at his best – and as a result finds himself in a final again in this very manner.

Resilience comes as standard for Higgins and once again he used his experience to great effect to keep Brecel at bay in a 10-7 win last night.

Although a lot has changed since, the Scot proved earlier in the season he can go toe-to-toe with his Aussie opponent when they met in the final of the English Open in Milton Keynes. Higgins led for long periods of that match before losing out narrowly 9-8.

Higgins knows he will need to play even better than he did that day and step up his level from what he has delivered so far in Llandudno to beat Robertson. But that is the challenge and the standard required at this level to take home titles.



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