Masters: Neil Robertson reaches quarter-finals after battling past Robert Milkins
Last Updated: 13/01/15 6:30pm
World No 1 Neil Robertson survived a scare as he booked his place in the Masters quarter-finals with a tense 6-4 win over Robert Milkins.
The Australian was forced to battle back from a 4-3 deficit before setting up a showdown with either Barry Hawkins or Ali Carter at Alexandra Palace.
Milkins rattled in a break of 94 to claim the opening frame, but a string of errors allowed Robertson to level and the Melbourne man forged ahead by taking a scrappy third.
This advantage was soon wiped out when Milkins cleared from the final red, adding the next with a 69 break for a 3-2 lead.
Robertson responded with a 77 to level at 3-3, but fell behind again to the ‘Milkman’, who completed a frame-winning clearance from brown to black.
With his place in peril, Robertson raised his game, levelling with 95 before runs of 117 and 76 sent him through to the last eight.
The 32-year-old was scathing about his performance in the first few frames, but was delighted to have upped his game after that to eke out the victory.
"I couldn't have played any worse in the first four frames, but I got a lot better after the interval," he told World Snooker's website.
"I lost a silly frame to go 4-3 down, but I kept my composure and played my best snooker of the match in the last three frames. I'm very happy with the win having struggled early on.
"You can't ease your way into this tournament, you've got to win tough matches from the start."