Neil Robertson swatted away the challenge of Ronnie O’Sullivan to claim the Tour Championship title with a brilliant 10-4 win.
The match had the makings of a classic after the pair shared the opening eight frames in the afternoon session, but it was one-way traffic in the evening at Celtic Manor.
O’Sullivan failed to find any rhythm, and Robertson’s win ensured the world champion has now lost five finals on the spin - and is without a tournament success since his Crucible victory in August.
Key dates and schedule for 2022-23 snooker season as O'Sullivan defends world crown
For Robertson, the win saw him break a tie with Mark Selby and the Australian is now seventh on the all-time ranking title winners’ list with 20 to his name.
- 'Like he was playing on a pool table' – Ronnie lauds Robertson
- 'Nice to be part of history' - Robertson proud of achievements in snooker
The first frame of the evening mirrored the opener of the match, with both players missing chances and leaving each other in awkward situations.
Unlike the first frame of the match, it was Robertson who got in after O’Sullivan missed a red across the bottom cushion and he crafted an excellent break of 93 to move back in front.
O’Sullivan’s missed red in the ninth frame was a tough one, but the errors he made in the 10th were all of his own making - and extremely worrying. He missed a simple red, fouled the brown and played a poor safety. The third of those mistakes proved fatal, as Robertson stepped in with a break of 75.
The world champion’s body language and approach had been good all week, but things appeared to dip in the 11th frame as he cut a deflated figure when missing a red after crafting a chance.
His frustration was magnified as Robertson mopped up his third century of the contest, a 123.
Robertson completed a whitewash of the four-frame session, with an aggregate score of 442-16, when knocking in a 119 - his 57th century of the campaign.
After defeats in the finals of the Northern Ireland Open, Scottish Open, Welsh Open and Players Championship already this season, O’Sullivan needed a response to avert another fall at the final hurdle.
He had a chance to make Robertson twitchy when potting a long red when 51 points behind. He knocked in an excellent brown to follow, but summed his evening up when missing a routine red and the 2010 world champion stepped in to move within one frame of victory.
Robertson showed no signs of nerves, as he wrapped up victory - somewhat fittingly - with another century, a 114, and the win moved him up to number three in the provisional rankings for the Crucible.
World Championship qualifiers to be played over 19 frames
Opinion: O’Sullivan has found a formula for success that can bring more glory
Share this article