Dott sidesteps one banana skin but will have to evade another
GRAEME DOTT insists his game is coming together nicely after sidestepping a potential banana skin to reach the second round of the UK Snooker Championship in York.
The Larkhall cueman drew 1995 World Championship finalist Nigel Bond in the first round but proved to be too strong for the veteran as he battled to a 6-2 victory.
Dott was not at his free-flowing best at the Barbican Centre but a 101 break in frame six showed what he is capable of, while a composed knock of 65 took him over the line in frame eight.
The results have not always been indicative of the 38-year-old’s performances this term although his run to the third round of the previous ranking event, the International Championship, was just reward.
Dott claims the UK Championship now begins in earnest for him as he gears up for round two this weekend.
“After winning the first round, you feel you’re involved in the tournament now,” said Dott, whose best performance at the UK Championship was a semi-final appearance in 2006.
“I got the job done but it wasn’t a great game – it was scrappy. The table was a bit heavy and a bit slow, so it didn’t bode well for good scoring. To play someone as experienced as Nigel is a tough draw and I’m just pleased to get it out of the way. I’m playing a bit better than my results suggest and I feel I’m not far away from playing really well.”
Aside from his last-four appearance in 2006, Dott’s results at the UK Championships have been largely disappointing – just two quarter-finals in his other 17 attempts.
One of those did come 12 months ago, however, and he is hoping to at least match that result this time around.
Standing in his way next is talented 24-year-old Jack Lisowski, who overcame Zak Surety 6-4 in round one. Lisowski and Dott will square off tomorrow afternoon and the Scot has history on his side, having triumphed on three of the four occasions the players have met.
The Englishman, ranked 48 in the world, has linked up with former world champion Terry Griffiths to work on the mental aspect of his game.
Dott is under no illusions about the size of the task in front of him if he wants to advance this weekend.
“Jack will be a tough game, especially as it’s in the back room – it will be hard in there,” said the world No.19. “He’s got so much ability – he’s probably got the most ability of the young ones coming through.
“I think working with Terry Griffiths will help him a lot. But he’s such a good player, so it’s a hard game.” Eurosport is the Home of Snooker, showing all major ranking events including the World Championship, UK Championship the Masters and the exclusive “Ronnie O’Sullivan Show.” Available on Sky, Virgin Media & BT TV or online/mobile via
EYES DOWN: Graeme Dott booked his place in the second round with a 6-2 victory over Nigel Bond