NEIL Robertson is hoping to hit the magical ‘century of centuries’ in a second-round Crucible shootout against Mark Allen.
The world No1 rattled in four more breaks of over 100 including a Dafabet World Championship-high 140 in a 10-2 win over Robbie Williams on Thursday night - taking him to 97 for the season.
Former world champion Robertson, 32, left Judd Trump’s previous mark of 61 behind months ago – and is now homing in on history in Sheffield.
But the Australian and No2 seed, scheduled to meet Ronnie O’Sullivan in the final, was also delighted to make up for an early exit in the blue-riband tournament 12 months ago.
And after coming past debutant and qualifier Williams, 27, he also has hopes of doing some serious damage in the draw this time around.
Robertson suffered a desperately disappointing exit to Rob Milkins 12 months ago but responded superbly and has now topped the rankings for almost a year.
He said: “I wanted to make up for losing in the first round last year, and whoever I drew was going to feel the wrath. I am very well prepared this year.
“I have made four centuries and a 140 and 102 tonight from 7-2 up to finish it off, I think that is the kind of snooker that may be needed to win here this year.
“Everyone remembers the first sportsmen or women to do a certain thing in that sport. I was already the first to 70, 80 and 90 but the 100 is something I really want to do.
“I am looking to clear the table whenever I can. I expect big breaks from both of us in the next match against Mark Allen.
“And I might get there naturally without even having to go for it or do anything differently, because Mark is an attacking player too and that is the kind of game it will be.
“I am playing about the best I ever have. I have won two ranking titles this season, but I think it should have been more.
“Some people may be hoping for an Australia v England final with me and Ronnie but there are a lot of good and hungry players left, with Ding and Ronnie having won most of the titles.”
Meanwhile defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan was given something to think about by Joe Perry in the first session of their best-of-25 frame last-16 match.
Perry, 39, showed no signs of being intimidated and surged into a 4-1 lead helped by breaks of 57, 82 and 55.
That triggered a response from the Rocket who knocked in a magnificent run of 117, but a 99 from Perry saw him claim a 5-3 lead to take into Friday’s second session.
It was the first session O’Sullivan had lost at the Crucible for two years, having won the title without doing so 12 months ago.
Photographs by Monique Limbos