Neil Robertson’s Masters dream disappears


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Neil Robertson suffered a 6-5 loss to Mark Joyce in the third round of the UK Championship and can no longer qualify for The Masters.

The 35-year-old Australian lost the deciding frame to world number 42 Joyce in York and will now miss The Masters for the first time since 2007, as he will drop out of the top 16.

The former world number one and 2009 world champion began strongly against Joyce, but the Englishman never allowed Robertson to build a big lead and a well-taken tactical shot in the decider proved the difference.

Joyce blocked a red, forcing Robertson into an error on a safety shot and from there Joyce made a match-winning clearance to progress to the fourth round.

Robertson, a two-time UK champion who won The Masters in 2012, cannot now pick up enough ranking points to qualify for the event at Alexandra Palace in London in January.

The Australian’s absence will be noticeable as, despite his struggles on occasion on the main tour, he always puts in big performances at the prestigious invitational event, having reached two finals and three quarter-finals since he won the event five years ago.

Joyce is 67.00 to win the UK Championship outright while Belgian youngster Luca Brecel can be backed at 15.00.

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