Neil Robertson was left ruing a disastrous second session as his Betfred World Snooker Championship bid came to an end at the quarter-final stage.
The Cambridge cueman was one of the favourites to win at the Crucible Theatre but lost all five frames of the third and final session as Kyren Wilson prevailed 13-8.
The two had been locked at eight frames apiece heading into Wednesday’s finale – despite Robertson leading 5-2 towards to end of the opening stages.
But a scrappy middle to the match saw neither player hit full flow, leaving Robertson knowing just where things went wrong in Sheffield.
“This morning, there wasn’t a lot I could really do about that,” he said. “I’ve knocked in five reds off his break-offs and if I’m at the level I have been over the past few weeks, I would have won every one of those frames.
“I didn’t really get too many chances this morning. The key was the second session, going in at 8-8, I did well to win the last frame but if I’d have been at the levels I had been, I would have come into the last session only needing one or two frames to win.
“That second session, frames were going too long and our rhythms were both upset. That allowed me to be in the position I was in.
“The venue is not ideal for me from a technical point of view, I don’t have as much space to walk into my shots.
“I have to adjust for it, they’re not going to create an extra foot of space for me!
“Kyren played great in the last session so I have no complaints.”
Robertson became world champion in 2010 but hasn’t come close to repeating the feat since, only once reaching the semi-final in the subsequent years.
This latest disappointment made it three quarter-final losses in a row but this campaign is still one to savour for the Australian.
Victories in the UK Championship and Tour Championship – two of the biggest events on the calendar – means his run of winning a tournament in every year since 2006 goes on.
“It’s been my best ever season, without a doubt. Considering the pandemic, I’ve made 70-odd centuries in more than 40 matches, which is great,” he added.
“Before coming here, I’ve won the two biggest ranking events, two huge events, so it’s been a great season and there’s no way this result will dampen my season at all.
“It’s been brilliant, we’ve been so fortunate to be able to play.
“It’s a pity not to get to the one-table setup, that’s where I come into my own but I need to work out a way of getting to that place in previous rounds.
“It’s a different type of environment, you need to scrap through and previously in quarter-finals, I’m the one who has been outfought.”
Watch the World Snooker Championship live on Eurosport and Eurosport app from April 17- May 3