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Neil Robertson loses to amateur at UK Championship after Shaun Murphy criticism

Robertson loses to amateur after Murphy criticism
© Reuters
Neil Robertson, the defending champion, loses to amateur John Astley in the UK Championship first round, less than 48 hours after Shaun Murphy lost in a similar manner.

Neil Robertson has suffered a shock first-round defeat to amateur John Astley in the first round of the UK Championship.

Earlier this week, Shaun Murphy criticised the use of players who did not possess a full tour card after losing in similar circumstances.

Robertson, the defending champion of this event, agreed with Murphy's comments, but the Australian suffered the same fate on Thursday, losing out 6-2 to Astley.

After his opponent produced breaks of 74, 83 and 119, Robertson was quick to pay full credit to the Gateshead player.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Robertson said: "It hurts. As the defending champion you don't want to give up the title so easily, but you have to credit John.

"He played a brilliant match. He probably played the match of his life. There was a crowd, it was on the main table and he stood up to it and played as if he had nothing to lose."

Ronnie O'Sullivan also faced a player of amateur status in the first round, defeating two-time ranking tournament winner Michael White by a 6-3 scoreline.

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