Tour Championship Snooker 2022 – Ronnie O’Sullivan vs Neil Robertson Tips and Betting Preview

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The first semi-final of the Tour Championship forms the snooker schedule on what could be a very special Friday inside the Venue Cymru in Llandudno as Ronnie O’Sullivan takes on Neil Robertson in what could be a special match.

Both these men will be out to avoid being the fool on the first day of April and whichever one does that will be through to the final where they will face either Luca Brecel or John Higgins over the course of Sunday.

Ronnie O’Sullivan

Ronnie O’Sullivan went into this tournament knowing that whatever happened he will be returning to world number one on Monday and he could be extending his lead at the summit of the rankings because he looked very good indeed in his opening win against Mark Williams. I had a feeling that the Rocket would lift off for this event. This is a tournament which is gaining in magnitude with every staging and that is always right up Ronnie’s street.

O’Sullivan claimed after the match that he couldn’t put a long ball against Williams but that wasn’t the case. Admittedly he missed some long pots but the ones he had to get he did. What he did do in that epic contest was score brilliantly. He slammed in five centuries and could have had a couple more so he looks in mighty fine order and knows he has already beaten Robertson over the best of 19 frames this season. Nevertheless he would probably want a better start than in the World Grand Prix final where he had to battle from behind to win.

Neil Robertson

I think it is fair to say that Neil Robertson has set the best standard of the week so far in his 10-6 win over Mark Allen. In that victory he raced into a 7-0 lead before Allen put the shutters down and clawed it back to 8-6 but when some players might have panicked and thrown a winning position away, Robertson hit the turbo again to pile in his fourth and fifth centuries of the match and snuff out the danger in ruthless style.

There is certainly a case for Robertson being the player of the season and he’ll be extra motivated to prove that in this semi-final to move one win away from successfully defending what is becoming a tough title to win not just in the event itself but actually getting here in the first place with the standard that is on the tour at the minute. A repeat of the display he gave on Tuesday would have Robertson looking very tough to beat here.


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Head to head

These two great champions have faced each other on 30 previous occasions with O’Sullivan leading 18-11 along with one draw between the pair. He is ahead on the frame count too at 168-144 but it is Robertson who has won both of their meetings since the World Grand Prix final which O’Sullivan won. That is actually his only win in their last five battles. O’Sullivan also has the edge in semi-final meetings between the two as well. He leads 4-2 in past battles at this stage of the tournament. O’Sullivan also has the better of their 19 frame matches too. They have played four times over this distance with O’Sullivan leading 3-1. O’Sullivan leads 7-1 in multi-session matches although the one Robertson won was in the final here last season.

Betting

I can’t get away from that multi-session match record between these two. Eight battles is enough to determine that Neil Robertson clearly has an issue when it comes to beating Ronnie O’Sullivan over any significant sort of distance. The one match Robertson has won was the Tour Championship final last year but the caveat to that is that Robertson had a breeze of a semi-final on the Friday whereas O’Sullivan went through the ringer in a deciding frame on the Saturday night so the Australian had a freshness advantage.

He doesn’t have that here because O’Sullivan has had a day off between that epic win over Mark Williams and this match so he will come into this battle on a level playing field. I suspect that the reason Robertson has this poor record in long matches against O’Sullivan is because he can’t keep him quiet throughout and if the Rocket clicks for an hour he can win four or five frames as we saw in the World Grand Prix final earlier in the season. Five of those eight lengthy matches have been in the last three years so it isn’t like they came when O’Sullivan was at the true peak of his powers a decade or so ago. I don’t think there was much between these two in the quarter finals but that long distance record O’Sullivan has over his opponent makes me think he’s the value at 6/5.

Tips

Back R.O’Sullivan to beat N.Robertson for a 3/10 stake at 2.20 with BetVictor

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Author: Martha Chavez