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'I'm just exhausted' - Robertson thought about withdrawing during Clarke win

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Neil Robertson

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ByEurosport UK
12/02/2020 at 08:32 | Updated 12/02/2020 at 10:01

Welsh Open defending champion Neil Robertson said he almost retired from his first-round tie with Jamie Clarke due to exhaustion before eventually overcoming the Welshman 4-2.

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The Australian was playing just 48 hours after beating Graeme Dott in the final of the World Grand Prix and spoke of the fatigue he was feeling from being back in action so quickly.

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Robertson survived a scare against Clarke after going 1-0 and 2-1 down before claiming the victory, and afterwards admitted that he almost thought about withdrawing due to being so exhausted.

'I almost withdrew, I'm exhausted' - Robertson honest after win

00:03:23

“It was very tough. The final against Graeme Dott was like literally the last of my reserves. That was like scraping the absolute bottom of the well and tonight showed that,” Robertson told Eurosport.

I thought ‘Do I pull out?’ which isn’t great form the defending champion or do I play then play like that. My brain was trying to send signals to my arms to try and play properly but I just couldn’t.

Robertson said he spoke to some other top players in the game who told him they probably would have pulled out had they been in his position after playing 15 matches in the space of just 21 days.

The world number 24 has picked up both the European Masters and German Masters titles during an impressive run of victories.

“I can’t complain because of the run I’ve been on. If I withdraw, I get fined heavily, but if I play like that, I should be fined for how bad that was!” Robertson joked.

“I’ve never been in that situation before but it’s a nice problem to have.”

"In some ways he could have done me a favour knocking me out I could have had a week off to get ready for the really important end of the season.

I’m just exhausted so I’m going to play and see what happens. There’s no way I can win it, I feel bad for the punters.

Robertson faces off against Mark Joyce in the second round today after the Englishman beat Fergal O’Brien in the first round.

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