Neil Robertson. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

‘Thunder From Down Under’ Robertson Takes On Bingham’s Essex Challenge In 2019 Welsh Open Final

Former World Champions Neil Robertson and Stuart Bingham face each other in the 2019 ManBetX Welsh Open final at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff.

Australian Robertson, ranked 10 in the World, powered to a 6-0 semi-final win against Iran’s Hossein Vafaei during the evening match and stayed on course for the £70,000 first prize.

World number 12 Bingham, from Basildon in Essex, had earlier defeated fellow Englishman Joe O’Connor 6-2 earlier on Saturday.

“My game is there,” said Bingham. “Long may it continue.

Robertson won against Vafaei in 90 minutes and the Iranian scored only 54 points.

Stuart Bingham. Pic: Getty Images.

“Every little mistake he made I punished fully and that’s what you have to do,” said Robertson.

“You can’t let the crowd get behind the underdog. I played well, scored heavily and did everything I hoped to do through the match.”

Robertson, who beat Bingham 5-0 in the German Masters two weeks ago, said: “Stuart’s more than capable of crushing anybody on his day.

“We both play attacking snooker. Hopefully I can get on top.”

The man from Melbourne was in top form as he opened with a 103 break, did not score less than 60 points in any frame and swept to a one-sided victory.

A stunning break of 140 in the fourth left Vafaei further behind and Robertson scored a 101 in the sixth.

Robertson and Bingham are both set to compete in a Welsh Open final for the third time, with each having earned one win and suffered one defeat.

Bingham was crowned Welsh Champion two years ago when he defeated Judd Trump 9-8, while Robertson, nicknamed the ‘Thunder from Down Under’ won by the same narrow margin 12 years ago against Andrew Higginson in Newport.

Sunday’s final, which starts at 1pm, is the best of 17 frames.

ManBetX Welsh Open semi-final results: Stuart Bingham 6, Joe O’Connor 2; Neil Robertson 6, Hossein Vafaei 0.

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