Robertson accepts low profile
Australian Neil Robertson will have Roger Federer to thank for any attention his Betfair Masters exploits receive Down Under.
Defending his title at London's Alexandra Palace, the 30-year-old from Melbourne clinched his place in Sunday's final with an impressive 6-2 victory over Shaun Murphy.
His World Championship feats caused a stir in Australia, with a large Australian press presence on the night in May 2010 that he won the Crucible title.
But Robertson accepts he has a generally low profile outside Britain and beyond snooker enthusiasts, and he knows that another Masters title will go unnoticed by many of his countrymen and women.
The ongoing tennis Australian Open has been capturing the focus of the public back home, however Federer's straight-sets victory over the big men's home hope Bernard Tomic on Saturday means attentions could drift from the action at Melbourne Park.
Explaining where he fits in the Australian sporting spectrum, Robertson said: "If I lose the final, I won't get a word in the papers. The Australian Open is on and Tomic is out so that might give me a little window of opportunity.
"If I win tomorrow with nine centuries in a row I might make a little piece in the papers somewhere.
"It is a bit frustrating but that's the way it is."
He was waiting to learn who would tackle him in the best-of-19-frame final, with Mark Selby and Graeme Dott duelling for the right to take on Robertson over two sessions.
Having beaten Murphy in last year's Masters final, Robertson never looked like allowing the Englishman to gain revenge. And an under-par performance from Murphy made it comfortable in the end.
Robertson fired a break of 84 to take the opening frame and further runs of 132, 85 and 127 saw him heavily outscore the 2005 world champion.
Only three players have successfully defended the Masters title: Cliff Thorburn, Stephen Hendry and Paul Hunter.
Robertson now has a golden chance to join that club, and he said: "To have a chance to defend my title, it's going to be a real privilege.
"It would mean everything. It's a great opportunity to become a part of history.
"There's a lot of work to do. It's going to be a long day and a tough match.
"If you can be fortunate enough to have the chance to do it in your sport then you have to really enjoy it."
Hunter was the last of the trio to achieve back-to-back Masters wins, triumphing in 2001, 2002 and adding a third title in 2004.
The likeable Yorkshireman died of cancer in October 2006, and Robertson credits him with attracting fans to the sport when it was at a low ebb.
"I think he created interest in the sport when it was dying down," Robertson said.
"He was such a great character, and to join someone like him would be amazing should I win.
"He's someone I always looked up to."
Four-times Masters champion Ronnie O'Sullivan was present for the penultimate evening of the tournament.
The 37-year-old remains on a break from snooker, having played just one low-profile competitive match since winning last season's World Championship.
There has been speculation, fuelled by some of O'Sullivan's fellow players, that he could return from his hiatus to defend his world title in Sheffield this April, rather than sit out the rest of the season which was the intention when his spell out of the game was announced in November.
On the table tonight, Dott edged 2-1 ahead of Selby with a break of 111 in the third frame.