Neil Robertson usurped Joe Perry as the player with the English Open’s highest break - and the world No.16 fumed at the Australian via text for stealing his Thunder, writes Will Jennings.
World No.3 Robertson composed a brilliant 140 to help see off underdog Robbie Williams 5-2 in the quarter-finals on Friday.
And that was one of three majestic centuries made by the Thunder from Down Under, who also struck visits of 133 and 100 to steam into the semi-finals in style.
Robertson’s 140 put him 3-1 up at the mid-session interval and Perry, who made 139 against Riley Parsons in his first-round match, took to his phone to vent his fury.
2010 world champion Robertson said: “I asked the ref what the current high break was - I knew that Joe made a 139 but I didn’t know if maybe earlier on today somebody beat that.
Neil Robertson has recorded the highest break of the https://t.co/0mCRoqdsmX English Open so far.— World Snooker Tour (@WeAreWST) October 16, 2020
It gives him a 3-1 advantage over Robbie Williams; the former world champion needs two more for a semi final spot #HomeNations #EnglishOpen pic.twitter.com/R8rL3mC3uy
“He said 139, so I played for the blacks and got a nasty little text off Joe when I was 3-1 up!
“I can’t say what he said, but the first word was ‘F’, the last one ‘O’!
“You don’t necessarily think about it when you go into a match but I’m aware of what a good benchmark is for the high break.
“I’ve made quite a lot of 140s in my career and it’s always that 140-plus that you have to make to get the high breaks.
“It was awesome and that’s when it’s the most enjoyable to play the game. I’m really pleased, it’s good and you have to embrace this format.”
18-time ranking event winner Robertson went behind at the Marshall Arena before a rock-solid visit of 56 in the second frame restored parity.
And the Cambridge-based player soon started to hit his straps, making a fine third-frame 87 before that mesmerising 140 handed him a two-frame advantage at the break.
World No.110 Williams pinched a frame back but two more centuries from Robertson meant he finished with a flourish and marched into the last four.
There he will meet three-time king of the Crucible and defending English Open champion Mark Selby, while world No.1 Judd Trump plays four-time world champion John Higgins in Saturday's second match.
Robertson revelled in the mouth-watering line-up and is hellbent on beating Selby - and Trump - to becoming the first man to win three Home Nations Series titles.
“It’s awesome and fantastic - it’s an unbelievable semi-final line-up,” he added.
“The four of us, the last six or seven years, have been winning a lot of tournaments - Mark’s in terrific form and won the last tournament so he’s going for back to back.
“It’s a bit of a race to see who can win three of these first. I’m on two, he’s on two, so it’s really exciting and really good sport for the weekend for people to watch on TV.
“Obviously they can’t get down and watch but it’s going to be two brilliant semi-finals.”