The Grand Prix 2006 where he beat Jamie Cope in the final, and the Welsh Open 2007 where he beat Andrew Higginson some people said; "Oh look, he's beaten two people outside the top-16 in the final". So what? Those two had managed to reach the final, so they'd obviously been playing well. And you don't win a tournament by playing just one match. People didn't point out that he'd knocked Ronnie O'Sullivan out of both of those tournaments on route to the final.
The Bahrain was perhaps the one where he 'got lucky' the most. Due to the Premier League in Haywards Heath that night, there was no John Higgins, Ding Junhui, Mark Selby or Steve Davis. (The last one not being much of a loss, quality-wise, granted.) And Ronnie pulled out. Of course, it wasn't Robertson fault who he plays, and there are other quality players outside of those that pulled out. Neil Robertson was the one who made the most of the situation, and got the glory. And rightly so.
There were no complaints with his Grand Prix 2009 win. He beat John Higgins in the semi, and Ding in the final. This proves class, no doubt.
Obviously, he's the reigning World Champion, though some still whinged that he played four qualifiers out of five. Despite playing a former World Champion in the final, playing Ali Carter in the semis, and actually coming through a tough game with Martin Gould. And the World Open, he played spectacularly well, and beat Ronnie in the final. Again, one can be critical of this tournament, and say winning a tournament of predominately best of fives won't be remembered as his biggest achievement. It won't. I'm not sure it's even as impressive on the CV as his 2009 GP win. What I do believe though, is that he played so well in the final against Ronnie that he could've played a best of 19, rather then 9, and still won.
So, after whittering on about all that, where do you place him? He seems to be somebody who probably unfairly, has had questions raised about a hell of a lot of his tournaments won. Do people believe that, no matter what, he's won enough ranking events to be above criticism? Or do people believe he's been lucky with some easy runs?
He's obviously a great player. And just in describing his ranking wins, I've by complete coincedence found 3 times he's beaten Ronnie. The most naturally talented, genius player ever. But how does he compare with the all time greats? Already there? Or does he need to prove more?
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