New format can help Robertson win snooker’s UK Championship
Neil Robertson brings arguably the best current form into the UK Championship and therefore it may pay to side with him in the snooker odds at 9/1 to triumph in the first of the three big tournaments this season.
The UK Championships return to the Barbican Centre in York for the first time since 2006 this year and the 32 entrants will be looking for a solid run ahead of the Masters in January and then the World Championships at the Crucible in April.
Robertson knows what it takes to win the biggest tournaments, having won the world title in 2010, and he has also hit form again of late with back-to-back successes in smaller events, beating Ricky Walson and Judd Trump in the respective finals.
The change to a shorter format should also aid Robertson, who has previously failed to get past the quarter finals in nine appearances in the UK Championships.
Now all matches will be best of 11 rather than first to nine frames and this should play into the hands of the aggressive potters rather than those who tend to start showdowns slowly.
Robertson begins against Tom Ford and is 1/5 to progress.
Favourite for overall victory is world number one Mark Selby at 6/1 and he possesses the battling nature and general will to win that regularly sees him involved in the latter stages of big tournaments.
As you would expect from the top-ranked player, Selby’s current form is also strong and he triumphed in the last big event before the UK Championship, when beating Mark Williams in the final of the Shanghai Masters.
Williams has climbed back to number two in the rankings and arguably has the easiest route through to the final based on the draw.
Therefore, Williams is 8/1 to win the UK Championship, while defending champion John Higgins can be backed at 7/1 and he has reached the final in each of the last two years.