Everyone has an opinion but you can’t argue with facts (although many people do) and the facts are this: in the last eight years, Graeme Dott has appeared in three world finals.

The first of these was in 2004. He was beaten 18-8 by Ronnie O’Sullivan but it’s perhaps forgotten that Dott actually led 5-0.

He had arrived in Sheffield with low expectations, bringing with him only two shirts and keeping a grateful nearby dry cleaning shop in business for the fortnight.

Dott had been on a rotten run prior to the championship and frustration finally got the better of him on the way back from another defeat at the Welsh Open, Stopping at a motorway service station, he snapped his cue.

Or at least tried to. It proved so tough that he had to eventually break it by putting his foot through it.

But Dott proved his steel with a gripping 17-15 defeat of Matthew Stevens in the semi-finals. It was the first of a series of epic Crucible victories which underlined the diminutive Scot’s ability to hold it together under pressure.

Another came in 2006 when he edged Neil Robertson 13-12 in the quarter-finals before his dramatic semi-final win over Ronnie O’Sullivan.

Dott managed to shut out what was happening around him, particularly an opponent apparently breaking down emotionally, and won all eight frames of the third session.

The final against Peter Ebdon was not pretty but it was gripping. Dott’s eventual victory was well earned and was a clear example that, in sport as in life, you only get out what you put in.

All throughout the championship Dott had used a sense of injustice at the way he was regarded in the media as a source of inspiration.

Some of this was real and some imagined, but it scarcely mattered. It fired Dotty up and he used it as a positive, not a negative.

He was in the final again in 2010 after more closely fought wins over Mark Allen and Mark Selby. Exhausted, he lost to Robertson but is one of those players nobody wants to play at the Crucible.

Again last year he proved his steel in the second round against Ali Carter, at one stage in the opening session winning three successive frames on the black.

Dott is often presented as a dour figure but I think it’s more that he’s so competitive. He has sometimes strayed into controversy, with a well publicised spat with Ian McCulloch and an unwise criticism of Steve Davis for taking toilet breaks in their first round match in 2000.

But I admire him for always speaking his mind and not hiding behind meaningless platitudes.

He’s a one-off but more importantly in a snooker sense, has the chops to stand up to the pressure at the Crucible, a place where so many have cracked.


jamie brannon said...

I think it should be mentioned how well he played en route to the 2010 final, much better than in 2006.

The final session was gripping, not sure about the other three turgid sessions!

I don't think and never argue with specific facts, but do think you can argue how facts are used to support certain agendas.

I notice Dott is about 33-1 for Crucible glory this year, which could be an attractive price given his record there. Like John Higgins, he could be ready to unleash his best stuff.

Anonymous said...

wee guy, BIG chops ;)

great guy off the table. very good player on it.

the dynamo!

Ray said...

It is annoying that Graeme Dott doesn't get the credit he deserves for what he has achieved in the game. Is it any wonder he gets the raging hump with the snooker fraternity and some of the media - So unjust. I admire him because of his iron will and determination to succeed.
Dave, I think he was justified in criticising Steve Davis because as a mere spectator I was seething at the unprofessional and inappropriate behaviour. I was surprised that Dott didn't raise it with the referee at the time. Perhaps he should have waited for Davis to return to the table each time and then excused himself for a supposed toilet break. The problem would then have to have been dealt with by the ref or it would have descended into a bigger farce than it already was.

Anonymous said...

I think he's a wonderful player and just as entertaining as you know who.

Anonymous said...

If he wants headlines he should do something to justify them. He's a great player and earned his successes in the game but obviously Dave and the other snooker journos need someone and something interesting to write about to get their work published. Dott should count himself lucky that he came along when you could become a millionaire by getting solid results by playing dull snooker. If he had been around in the 70s he wouldn't have been able to make a living because no-one would pay to watch exhibitions with this guy. He's won his money fairly, but the reason there is money in the game is not down to him. The headlines go to the sport's income generators, which is how it should be.

Wolfgang said...

Funny. The dull Mr. Dott made 8 centuries during the World Championship 2010, more than anybody else. And this included the shared highest break of 146. If that isn't worth the headlines I don't know what is!

Anonymous said...

People can take potshots at Dott and Ebdon's World final all they like, I was glued to every ball, especially the final session. Some of the safety was out of this world. And Dott's clearance in the 31st frame which broke Ebdon's resistance was something I've never seen from any other player. Great player, great champion.

jamie brannon said...

I echo the sentiments about the clearance in the 31st frame.

He sped up his pace of play and has never gone back to being the grinder he was prior to his 2006 title victory.

Anonymous said...

absolute nonsense jamie.

fairly certain youve never spoke to gd about that. i have. amazing how everything you type thats opinion you believe to be fact.

Anonymous said...

can graeme dott eat a whole 9" pizza in one sitting?