Robertson beaten by ex-world champ

Jimmy Robertson lost 5-3 to Peter Ebdon in round one of the China Open this morning

Jimmy Robertson lost 5-3 to Peter Ebdon in round one of the China Open this morning

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For the second successive week, snooker star Jimmy Robertson led against a former world champion before eventually being beaten.

The Bexhill cueman was 3-2 up against Peter Ebdon in round one of the China Open this morning (Tuesday) only to succumb to a 5-3 defeat.

Robertson, who led John Higgins at the Wyldecrest Homes Players Championship Grand Final in Preston last week, got off to an excellent start as an opening break of 63 gave him the first frame.

Ebdon, who won the World Championship in 2002 and reached the final on two other occasions, rattled through the next without conceding a point thanks to runs of 30 and 53 before edging a lengthy third frame by potting pink and black despite a top break of just 14.

A 34 at the end of frame four got Robertson back to 2-2 at the interval and a 68 in the next put him ahead. He scored just 16 points in the next two frames, though, as breaks of 56 and 119 gave Ebdon a 4-3 lead.

Ebdon, whose world ranking has improved from 30 to 24 this season, sealed his victory in frame eight, which he began with a 32.

World number 53 Robertson will end his 2013/14 season by attempting to qualify for the World Championship for the second time in his career.

Robertson will need to win three matches to book his place in the sport’s blue riband event, which will take place at The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield from April 19-May 5. The first of them will be against Liam Highfield or Khaled Belaid Abumdas on Thursday April 10.