Date of Birth: 6 March 1976
Nickname: The Milkman
Highest Ranking: 12
Highest Break: 147
Robert Milkins is an English professional snooker player from Gloucester.
Milkins turned professional in 1995, but dropped off the Main Tour when it was reduced in size after the 1996/1997 season, but returned a year later via the UK Tour. After four seasons of solid progress with occasional last-16 runs, he reached the last 16 of the World Snooker Championship in 2002, and the first round in each of the next three years.
He made history in qualifying for the 2006 World Snooker Championship by making a 147 break in his match against Mark Selby. He became only the sixth player to achieve a maximum in the tournament, and the first to do so in qualifying (as a result, he earned £5,000; in the main tournament it would have been worth £147,000).
He ultimately lost to Selby 4–10, becoming only the second player to lose a World Championship match despite a 147, the other being Ronnie O’Sullivan against Marco Fu in 2003. Milkins also made a maximum break against Xiao Guodong in the fourth qualifying round of the 2012 tournament, and this time he won the match 10–4.
He has also been on the wrong end of a 147 in the tournament – Mark Williams completed a 10–1 victory in the first round of the 2005 tournament with a final-frame maximum.
In 2005 he reached the Irish Masters semi-final, but lost 8–9 against Matthew Stevens.
He lost in the final qualifying round of the World Championships for the second year in a row in 2007 – 10–4 against Mark Allen. In 2008 he did not get this far, losing 10–4 to Barry Pinches.
At the 2006 Grand Prix he and Ronnie O’Sullivan were the only players to win all 5 group matches, however Milkins lost 5–0 to eventual finalist Jamie Cope in the last 16. The 2007/2008 season was a poor one for Milkins, and he has slipped down the rankings to number 51.
Milkins had a strong run at the 2008 Bahrain Championship. After being elevated into the top 48 seeds due to a clash with previously-arranged Premier League Snooker matches, he won two qualifiers before reaching the quarter-finals at the venue, defeating Michael Holt 5–4 in the last 16 having trailed 0–3.
In 2009, Milkins joined player management company on Q Promotions.
Milkins reached the second ranking event semi-final of his career in the 2012 World Open. He qualified for the tournament with 5–1 and 5–0 wins over Sam Craigie and Ryan Day respectively. He was required to play in a wildcard round once at the event in Haikou, China, where he beat amateur Thanawat Thirapongpaiboon 5–3 to set up a first round encounter against Stephen Maguire which Milkins won by another 5–3 scoreline.
He defeated Jin Long 5–2, before dispatching reigning world champion John Higgins 5–3 in the quarter-finals. However, Milkins lost his last 4 encounter with Stephen Lee 2–6 and admitted after the match his performance levels had dropped from his previous displays in the tournament.
Milkins also reached the second round of the Shanghai Masters and the first round of the UK Championship during the 2011/2012 season and made a 147 break in the qualifying stage of the World Championship. He finished 2011/12 ranked world number 36.
Milkins began the 2012/2013 season by qualifying for the Wuxi Classic by beating Liu Chuang and Ryan Day. Once at the venue in China he came through the wildcard round and then defeated Andrew Higginson 5–3, world number two Judd Trump 5–3 (after being 1–3 down) to reach the quarter-finals where he was on the wrong side of a 5–3 scoreline against Ricky Walden.
After this Milkins lost in the qualifying draw of the Australian Goldfields Open and in the first round of four consecutive ranking events. He bucked the trend at the Welsh Open by scoring 4–1 and 4–2 wins over Mark Williams and Sam Baird, but lost 1–5 to Ding Junhui in the quarter-finals.
Milkins followed this up by reaching the second round of both the World Open and the China Open, losing to Mark Allen and Stuart Bingham respectively.
Milkins finished 41st on the Players Tour Championship Order of Merit, outside of the top 26 who secured berths into the Finals. However, he took part in all three of the new Asian PTC’s and performed well enough to finish 5th on the Order of Merit, which was high enough to qualify for the Finals.
There, Milkins lost 2–4 to Anthony McGill in the first round. Milkins qualified for the World Championship for the first time in eight years by defeating six-time runner-up Jimmy White 10–5 in the final qualifying round. Milkins was drawn against world number two and 2010 champion Neil Robertson in the first round, and defeated him 10–8 having trailed 2–5 and described the win as the best of his career afterwards.
He found himself 3–9 down to Ricky Walden in the second round, but stormed back into the match to only trail 10–11 before falling short of completing a remarkable comeback as Walden secured the two frames he required to seal a 13–11 win. His successful season saw him rise 18 places in the rankings to world number 18, the highest he has ended a season to date.
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