NEIL ROBERTSON overcame a gallant fightback from Lancastrian Andrew Higginson to win the Welsh Open 9-8 at the Newport Leisure Centre last night.
Higginson overturned a four-frame deficit to lead 8-6 before Robertson, the world No13, recovered his composure to win his second title after winning the Grand Prix four months ago.
Robertson, the 25-year-old left-hander from Melbourne, who had defeated Stephen Hendry and Ronnie O'Sullivan in earlier rounds, won five of the first six frames with breaks of 98, 76 and 71.
Higginson won frame seven only for Robertson to go four clear again for 6-2 by taking the last of the afternoon with a break of 74.
Higginson, 29, only the fourth unranked player to reach a ranking event final, had knocked in a break of 114 in frame two for his eighth century of the tournament.
But in the final session, Higginson won six frames in a row in a dramatic fightback, helped by breaks of 54, 100, 97, 64 and 81 to turn the final on its head as Robertson scored only 10 points.
Robertson, though, recovered from 8-6 down in the nick of time to win the last three frames and capture the first prize of pounds 35,000.
"I came here this week with no real expectations as I was the underdog in most of my matches,'' Higginson said after he had beaten Scotland's Stephen Maguire 6-3 in the semi-finals.
"I needed to win one more match to take the title and if someone had told me this would happen a week ago, I would have sent them for a drugs test. Getting this far is a dream come true.''
Robertson, who defeated Steve Davis 6-3 in the semi-finals, said: "It's been a great week for scalps for me in beating three former world champions and now Andrew.
"How Andrew won six frames in a row was incredible. He is a top-16 player without any doubt,'' Robertson said