Taupo: India’s challenge ended at the IBSF World under-21 snooker championship when Pankaj Advani went down 1-6 to the experienced Australian professional Neil Robertson in the quarter-finals here Sunday.
Though the final score-line may indicate a one-sided match, Pankaj, the 18-year old national champion from Bangalore and the top seed, had his chances that he failed to capitalise in most of the frames to lose 34-65, 34-79, 87-1, 12-88, 30-86, 64-66, 57-61.
Unseeded Robertson, the 21-year old from Melbourne, who turned professional in 1998, had never crossed the pre-quarter finals in this event, but was consistent enough on the day to emerge winner.
Pankaj, a semi-finalist at the 2002 championship held in Riga, Latvia, came back strongly in the third with a break of 57 to make it 1-2.
But Robertson, the reigning Australian junior champion, pouched the next three frames on breaks of 87, 62 and 51, for a commanding 5-1 lead.
He then clinched the seventh frame on the black to advance to the semi-finals where he meets defending champion and fifth seed Ding Junhui of China. Junhui saw off fourth seeded Bredan O’Donoghue of Ireland 6-4.
Meanwhile, second seeded Mark Allen, the 17-year old from Northern Ireland, put out unseeded Chinese Li Yinxi 6-4 with breaks of 50, 51, 61 and 55, to set up a semi-final clash with sixth seeded Liu Song of China.