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Page last updated at 08:23 GMT, Friday, 17 September 2010 09:23 UK

Neil Robertson Q&A

World Open
Venue: SECC, Glasgow Dates: 18-26 September
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, Red Button and BBC Sport website (UK only); Listen on BBC Radio 5 live for regular updates; Comprehensive reports on the BBC Sport website & mobiles

It is four months since Australian Neil Robertson beat Graeme Dott at The Crucible to become world snooker champion.

With a new season under way, the 28-year-old left-hander from Melbourne took time out from practice and looking after his new son to answer your questions.


Where do you see the future of snooker in light of recent media reporting of John Higgins?
philipreeves on Twitter

Neil Robertson
Can Robertson rule the baize again in the new campaign?

It is going to take John a bit of time to earn the respect amongst all the players again and some will be thinking the ban should have been harder. Players will have different opinions and it will be interesting to see how John will come back into the game - and also how the crowds react.

Now the verdict is out though, people are just looking forward to moving on. We just want to get on with it and do positive things for the game.

After all that has happened, how will you feel if you find yourself playing against John Higgins?
Roger Clarke, UK by email

Quinten Hann got an eight-year ban after getting caught [for throwing frames in 2006] on video. Some people are wondering why John Higgins' ban wasn't heavier.

Quinten was surprised with the outcome and thinks the game needs John Higgins. It is a strange one. I think everybody saw the punishment Quinten got as the bench mark for anybody bringing the game into disrepute.

The public and myself didn't see the full evidence so it's hard to make a judgment. John Higgins is an absolute legend. He has such a good reputation. But I'm sure he'll be happy with the outcome.

Everybody's looking forward to moving on with snooker and it will be good to have John playing in tournaments again.

What have you been doing since you won the world title?
Jonathan Dean, England by email

Neil Robertson

Aussie Robertson clinches world snooker title (UK users only)

It was tricky during the championships. My baby was due on the day after the final. My phone didn't stop for a week after winning and luckily he was 10 days late, so it worked out really well.

The birth was incredible. We went to Australia for a month, had a lot of media commitments, came back to Cambridge and then my partner Mille and my baby followed shortly after.

The toughest thing is my mum and dad being in Australia and only seeing them once a year. But there are naturally sacrifices that come with my job.

Becoming a dad has been a big change for me - I didn't have any responsibilities before. I obviously practised every day, but there was that luxury of things like watching movies when I wanted or waking up whenever I wanted.

So I've had to structure my life differently - like getting up earlier. I used to enjoy my sleep! I'm slowly coming to terms with it. When the guys see me early at the snooker club sometimes they wonder if I've wet the bed!

What's the most surreal moment you've had since becoming world champion? Meeting Nelson Mandela? Duet with Rolf Harris?
jeremybassett on Twitter

The silliest thing I did was going on TV and these girls on a couch got out a tiny snooker table and Ken and Barbie dolls. I had to hold these tiny cues.

Neil Robertson
Robertson flying high at the top of Eureka Tower in Melbourne

It was ridiculous. The table fell apart and the balls ran off. I think I did pretty well to laugh with it.

Playing an exhibition match on the 88th floor of the Eureka Tower in Melbourne was pretty scary and amazing. The walls are see-through all round the table.

I also got to meet former Australian prime minister Bob Hawke and the president of my favourite Aussie rules football club - the Collingwood Magpies.

I got to parade the trophy at the MCG in front of 81,000 fans. That was the best thing to come out of winning the title and I even got to meet my boyhood idol Nathan Buckley.

I was watching the world championships with my girlfriend and she kept going on about you being a heart-throb. How does it feel to make snooker sexy?
Josh, England by email

I don't know about that! You had all the guys wearing ties in the 1980s not looking great in physical shape. I try to get in shape but I need to return to the gym so I don't end up looking like Bill Werbeniuk.

How do you keep calm during a match in front of a full audience and knowing millions are watching on TV?
Alwyn Hughes, Netherlands by email

606: DEBATE
NEIL ROBERTSON 2010 WC

I'm a pretty laid-back person but when I first played on TV against Jimmy White at the Masters it was daunting. The more times you play you get used to it and you eventually come to love it. I see myself as an entertainer playing aggressive shots so I really enjoy the arena.

What was your biggest obstacle in becoming a professional snooker player?
Leo Wilson, UK by email

Probably laziness and financial difficulties. I used to be very lazy in my teens. I didn't practise enough but I was OK when I started really getting into snooker. Finding money like accommodation and the air fare from Australia was the most difficult thing. I came over with a lot of debt.

Who were your snooker heroes growing up?
Matt Lowing, England by email

Jimmy White, Stephen Hendry and Ronnie O'Sullivan.

Has he met Shane Warne? Who is his non-snooker sporting idol? jeremybassett on Twitter

Yep. I was at a charity event in London in 2006 and my manager went up to Warney to tell him that I'd be the first Aussie world champion. A month later I won the Grand Prix. Maybe it was a lucky moment there.

Shane Warne and Michael Jordan
Shane Warne and Michael Jordan are among Robertson's sporting heroes

My non-snooker idols are Nathan Buckley [AFL], Michael Jordan [basketball] and Shane Warne [cricket].

What do you think you'd be doing now if you had never picked up a cue?
Matt, England by email

I'd be in Australia! I love my video games and loved my art at school. I probably would have stayed at school and designed art for games. I've got no designs for waistcoats yet but you can't get away with too much in this game. One thing I won't be wearing is a green suit.

How old were you when you scored your first century break? How many maximum 147 breaks have you scored in your career?
Matthew Bidwell by email

My first century was when I was 14. I became the first Australian to get one in a ranking event. I haven't had too many 147s. Around 50. I've stopped counting.

The Sydney Herald reported you might play a winner takes all match against Ronnie O'Sullivan for $AUS 500,000. Will this match take place?
Sholto Carnew, Belfast by email

That was a promoter from the 1980s trying to promote himself. It was never going to happen.

What do you think is the best practice regime for an amateur player to improve his game?
Richard Luke, England by email

Line the 15 reds up and down the middle of the table and the colours on the spots and try to take the reds in order.

Neil Robertson was talking to BBC Sport's Mark Ashenden

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see also
Robertson eyes World Open revival
16 Sep 10 |  Snooker
New snooker format excites White
16 Sep 10 |  Snooker
Robertson beats Dott to win title
04 May 10 |  Snooker
Aussie mettle wins it for Robertson
04 May 10 |  Snooker
Winners and losers at the Crucible
04 May 10 |  Snooker
World Snooker final as it happened
02 May 10 |  Snooker
Carter triumphs in Shanghai final
12 Sep 10 |  Snooker
Snooker on the BBC
08 Apr 11 |  Snooker


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