Australia’s Neil Robertson made a rare World Championship 147 maximum break, but still crashed to a 13-12 defeat against Jack Lisowski on Monday.
Robertson recorded only the 12th 147 in the history of the tournament as he battled in vain to avoid a second-round exit at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.
It was Robertson’s fifth career 147 and the first in the World Championship since John Higgins in 2020.
He celebrated by raising his arms aloft before Lisowski offered a warm handshake, while play briefly stopped on the other table as Anthony McGill and Judd Trump joined the congratulations.
The 40-year-old’s memorable break moved him to within one frame of Lisowski, who led 10-9 in the best of 25 frames clash.
But despite using the momentum from his 147 to move ahead 11-10, Robertson could not get to the finish line.
Lisowski made breaks of 88 and 72 to turn the tide in a fittingly dramatic conclusion to one of the tournament’s most riveting encounters.
Buoyed by his 147, Robertson remained upbeat and vowed not to let the loss tarnish a successful season.
“I’ve had the absolute season of dreams. When I reflect on it, I won three of the biggest four events coming into this and beat some amazing players in those tournaments,” he said.
“If I’d gone on to win here, it would probably have been the greatest season anyone has had in the sport.
“To top it off with the 147 in front of a packed crowd is just the cherry on the cake really for what has been an incredible season.
“It’s on everyone’s bucket list to make a 147 at the Crucible and my mum was in the crowd as well!”
Robertson’s achievement will net him a share of the £15,000 ($19,000) high break prize with Graeme Dott, who made a maximum in qualifying, plus £40,000 for doing it in the tournament’s final stages.
The former world number one lifted his only World Championship title in his lone appearance in the final in 2010.