Jimmy Robertson has booked his place in the Betfred World Snooker Championship in dramatic fashion.
The Bexhill potter triumphed 10-9 against Chinese cueman Xiao Guodong in the final round of the qualifiers at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield tonight (Wednesday).
Robertson will join the world’s top 16 players and 15 other qualifiers in the main draw, which will take place at The Crucible in Sheffield from Saturday.
The match was nip and tuck throughout with never more than two frames in it, but world number 42 Robertson was never behind after winning frame six to level at 3-3.
Robertson held a narrow 5-4 advantage after the first session yesterday evening and although 22nd-ranked Guodong won the first frame of the second session with a break of 60, Robertson took the next two aided by runs of 51 and 54 to lead 7-5.
The two frames after that were shared, leaving Robertson 8-6 ahead, but Guodong claimed the two after that with a top run of 69 to level at 8-8. Robertson edged in front once more thanks to a 61 at the start of frame 17 only for Guodong to respond in the next.
Robertson made a 40 to take the upper hand in a nailbiting decider before Guodong closed to within three points at 51-48. Robertson held his nerve, though, to clear from brown to pink for a hugely satisfying, not to mention important, victory.
It will be 28-year-old Robertson’s second appearance at The Crucible and first since 2011 when he was beaten 10-1 by last year’s champion Mark Selby.
He has won three matches in total to get there having previously seen off Thai player Thanawat Tirapongpaiboon 10-6 and Malaysian potter Thor Chuan Leong 10-7.
St Leonards-based Mark Davis, meanwhile, has also booked his place in the sport’s blue riband event. He became the first man to emerge from the qualifiers earlier this afternoon after beating 1997 winner Ken Doherty 10-3.
The draw for the first round, incidentally, will take place tomorrow morning.