Mark Allen sets up Neil Robertson clash at China Open

PROGRESS: Mark Allen
PROGRESS: Mark Allen

Mark Allen had a best break of 129 in a comfortable 5-1 victory over Scotland’s Anthony McGill at the China Open on Wednesday.

Allen will face Neil Robertson in round two after the Australian ruthlessly demolished Bexhill-based namesake Jimmy Robertson 5-0.

Robertson is eyeing his first major title since last year’s Masters, a wait of over 14 months, and the draw could be clearing to his advantage.

“John Higgins, Ding Junhui and Judd Trump are out but there’s still a lot of great players left,” Robertson said.

“My season has been very consistent, the only thing missing is a major win. I’m just hoping to maintain my form and to get a bit of luck.

“In the past I wasn’t getting to many semis or finals, but when I got there I was winning them. This season I’ve got to the latter stages a lot but lost three close finals. It’s not that I’m failing to finish matches off, I just haven’t had the luck that I’ve had in finals in the past.”

Meanwhile, Mark Selby laughed off the missed black that denied him a 147 maximum break and a £23,500 bonus.

The world number two had to make do with a 140 break in frame three of his thumping 5-1 win over Mark King in the first round in Beijing.

He looked odds-on for the second 147 of his career when he left himself a near-straight black, but the white was nearer the cushion than was ideal, and the attempted pot rattled the jaws.

“I left myself a really tough black,” Selby later said.

“It wasn’t nerves, it was just a tough shot and I missed.”

He faces Ricky Walden next after Walden’s 5-2 win over former world champion Ken Doherty.