Masters snooker 2013: Neil Robertson to play Mark Selby

By Shamoon HafezBBC Sport
Neil Robertson

Defending champion Neil Robertson produced a superb display to beat Shaun Murphy 6-2 in the Masters semi-finals.

Breaks of 84 and a brilliant 133 put the Australian 3-1 in front, although Murphy could have been level, letting slip a 68-point lead in the fourth.

He reduced the arrears in the next, but Robertson made 85 and 127 as he went 5-2 up, and though Murphy had chances in the eighth, Robertson sealed the win.

He will play Mark Selby, who beat Graeme Dott 6-5, in Sunday's final.

"We both struggled out there, it was strange. I tried to focus but I couldn't. I did not feel comfortable at all, I just felt flat," Selby told BBC Sport.

"Hopefully, I can come back fresh tomorrow. It will be a tough game against Neil and I need to play 10 times better. If I do turn up and play, it will be a good match."

Dott won a tense opener after Selby missed the chance to steal the frame as he failed to pocket the black off the spot, but he soon levelled with a knock of 79.

Scotland's Dott then stroked in 111 and 75 on his way to a 4-1 lead, but he should have extended his advantage before missing the brown and the black, as Selby clinched the sixth.

It proved to be crucial as Selby - who won the UK Championship last month - took the following two lengthy frames to level but, despite needing a snooker in the ninth, Dott claimed the re-spotted black to go one away from victory.

A quick-fire 65 from the Leicester man took the epic tussle to a decider, one which he took to advance.

Earlier, Robertson said after his win: "To get to another final is an amazing feeling but I still have a lot of work to do. I will do what I have been doing all week and come back refreshed tomorrow.

"I have been pouncing on mistakes this week with big breaks and I can put that into my opponent's mind. You have to punish people.

"I have made a lot of centuries in my career, but my potting gets me out of trouble - I am trying hard not to do that now. I am nowhere near the finished article but I am getting there."

In a repeat of last year's final, Robertson produced a high-scoring display of snooker, and now has the chance to become only the fourth man to lift the title in successive years.

For Murphy, it was a case of missed opportunities, as he broke down in the 40s on several occasions, losing sizeable leads in the fourth and sixth frames.

His second century of the match, a 127 total clearance in the seventh frame, put Robertson on the verge of victory and he duly pinched the next to go through.