Wuxi Classic: Neil Robertson criticises conditions in China

Neil Robertson
Neil Robertson tweeted: "Once the humidity gets inside, the tables are so unpredictable"

Defending champion Neil Robertson criticised the "unpredictable" playing conditions as he made it through to the semi-finals of the Wuxi Classic.external-link

Robertson beat Shaun Murphy 5-4 in China to set up a last-four match with Barry Hawkins at the opening ranking event of the season.

The Australian claimed the problem was due to humidity after several days of rain. He called for a change in cloth.

"We were both made to look stupid by the conditions," he tweeted.external-link

"Don't know any other sport where this happens. The players have had enough."

A spokesman for World Snooker told the BBC: "We take Neil's comments on board but, as he knows, the weather plays a huge part in the way the tables play, and that is a factor we can't control.

"We will be re-covering the table ahead of the semi-finals.

"We are relentlessly striving to provide the best possible playing conditions at every venue we go to around the world.

"We are also looking into theories on what causes kicks and unpredictable cushion bounces and whether any changes to the methods we currently use would be appropriate."

The Australian world number three was leading 3-1 in frames until a Murphy fightback put him in front at 4-3.

Robertson responded with a 95 - the highest break of the match - to take it to a decider.

Former world champion Murphy then crucially missed a red on a break of 49 as he led the deciding frame 65-25.

Shaun Murphy
A missed red in the deciding frame cost Shaun Murphy a semi-final place

Robertson took his chance with a clearance of 43 to claim victory.

Hawkins beat Hong Kong's world number eight Marco Fu 5-4.

The world number four told WorldSnooker.com: "I have more self belief and I'm used to being in the later stages of tournaments. It would be great to win a trophy this early in the season."

The first ranking event of the season has an £85,000 top prize.

In the other quarter-finals played on Friday, Martin Gould beat Stephen Maguire 5-4, while Joe Perry defeated Robin Hull 5-2.

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