Whitewashes for Robertson & Carter at UK Championship

Neil Robertson’s 16 ranking titles puts him joint fifth on the all-time list
Betway UK Championship
Venue: York Barbican Dates: 26 November-8 December
Coverage: Watch live across BBC Two, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, Connected TV, the BBC Sport website and mobile app from 30 November

Former champions John Higgins and Neil Robertson enjoyed crushing 6-0 victories in the first round of the UK Championship, but world number 11 David Gilbert was a surprise loser.

Two-time winner Robertson hit a century and two 81 breaks to demolish Malta’s Alex Borg in the afternoon session.

Scotland’s Higgins, the 1998, 2000 and 2010 winner, whitewashed fellow veteran Peter Lines in the evening’s action.

But Gilbert lost 6-4 to world number 118 James Cahill at the York Barbican.

Cahill, who beat Mark Selby in last year’s tournament and also stunned Ronnie O’Sullivan at the World Championship in April, once again showed impressive quality and an ice-cool temperament.

He scored a century and two breaks of more than 80 on his way to a 4-3 lead.

Gilbert’s second ton got him level but Cahill got over the line.

Australian Robertson, meanwhile, was thrilled with a victory that ended up being “nice and easy”, but felt he missed out on three more centuries.

“Alex is very experienced but he didn’t show up,” added Robertson, 37, who plays either Robbie Williams or Luo Honghao in the second round. “I wasn’t really put under any pressure.”

In the evening session, world number four Higgins, 43, said he “used up all his luck” despite a routine victory over Lines, 49.

Earlier, Ali Carter and Stuart Bingham also progressed to round two.

Carter, twice a UK semi-finalist, was also a 6-0 winner against fellow Englishman Brandon Sargeant but Bingham had to survive a big scare to beat 16-year-old Lei Peifan 6-4.

Bingham, the 2015 world champion, who made the UK semi-finals for the third time last season, struggled to find his best form.

The 43-year-old world number 12 shared the first four frames against China’s Lei before seeming to settle, a break of 53 helping him establish a two-frame lead.

The world number 117 responded again to level at 4-4 before a frustrated Bingham pinched frame nine with a 62 clearance, after Lei had missed a black from the spot, and then closed out victory.

World number one Judd Trump plays Morocco’s Amine Amiri in the opening round on Thursday at 14:30 GMT, and seven-time champion O’Sullivan is in action against Ross Bulman later that evening.

BBC television coverage of the tournament begins on Saturday from 13:15 on BBC One.


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