Allen Wins Fourth Ranking Title
Mark Allen defeated Neil Robertson 10-5 to win the International Championship and claim the £175,000 top prize in Daqing.
The Pistol has enjoyed a successful International Championship record over the years and was making his third appearance in the final. He was runner-up to Mark Selby last year, suffering a narrow 10-7 defeat in the showpiece tie.
Northern Irishman Allen secured the biggest win of his career earlier this year, when he defeated Kyren Wilson 10-7 in the final of the Masters at Alexandra Palace. However, his last silverware in ranking competition before this week came at the 2016 Players Championship.
Robertson remains on 14 ranking event titles from his career after losing out in what was his 22ndappearance in a ranking final.
A dominant afternoon session did most of the damage for Allen, as he established a 7-2 advantage. Allen achieved that lead by showcasing his fine break building form, which has seen him compile 14 centuries this week. Three of those came in that opening session with runs of 108, 103 and 119.
Australia’s Robertson wasn’t going to go down without a fight and flew out of the blocks in the evening. He fired in breaks of 84 and 121 to claim the first two frames and reduce his arrears to 7-4.
Allen crucially halted the Robertson resurgence in the 12th frame to make it 8-4 and a century run of 101 saw him move to the verge of victory at 9-4.
The high standard continued as Robertson composed a break of 113 to keep his hopes alive. However, it was Allen who took the next to emerge a 10-5 victor.
“This is what I want to do. I want to win tournaments and I want to win big events,” said Allen. “It is not easy to win tournaments these days, especially with so many good players, but I’ve played really well all week. There were very few times where I struggled, apart from getting over the line in the final because of the pressure.
“I think I was very close to the form I showed in winning the Masters. In patches I actually played better, the first session of the final in particular.
“There is only one winner at every tournament and there are 127 that go home very disappointed. I appreciate how hard it is to win these events, so I am not going to get carried away.”
Robertson admitted that he was defeated by the better player on the day, but wasn’t downbeat about his own form this week.
Robertson said: “I was incredibly confident going in. I know in finals it is going to take someone playing their best to beat me and Mark was certainly at his best today.
“The conditions have been a scorer’s paradise. When the top players have been among the balls they haven’t been missing. It was going to take something really special to win this trophy. The standard required was very high.”