Dott Dashes Trump’s UK Hopes
Graeme Dott reeled off six frames in a row to score a 6-2 win over Judd Trump at the Betway UK Championship.
Trump joins Mark Selby and Ding Junhui as the top three players in the world to exit the tournament at the York Barbican before the last 16 stage. Ronnie O’Sullivan, world number four, is now the top ranked player in the field.
Dott, the 2006 World Champion, produced one of his best performances in recent years to set up a fourth round meeting with fellow Scot Stephen Maguire.
Trump started well with breaks of 93 and 78 to win the first two frames, then Dott replied with 86 and 93 for 2-2. In the crucial fifth frame, world number 30 Dott cleared with 47 to pinch it on the black. And that gave him the momentum to take the last three frames with runs of 64, 72 and 67.
“You’ve got to try and attack Judd and is what I did at every chance,” said world number 30 Dott, who reached the semi-finals in York in 2006. “I just felt so comfortable out there, it’s nice to be back playing on TV.
“I get asked the same questions like ‘are you still playing snooker?’ by people like the delivery men and I say ‘yeah I’m still playing, still trying.’ So it’s nice to show people that I can actually play the game. I know I’m playing better, it’s the best I’ve played for a couple of years.”
Trump, UK Champion in 2011, said: “It all changed at 2-0 when I potted a good red but knocked the black in. It all changed after that. I kind of threw the frame away to go 3-2. Graeme probably won’t get the credit that he deserves, if someone else played like that it would be an unbelievable performance. Sometimes you just go through spells where you tend to overthink stuff and I’m going through that at the moment.”
Maguire trailed Liang Wenbo 4-3 when he made a 117 in the eighth frame. The next two were shared then 2004 UK Champion Maguire took the decider with a 67 to win 6-5.
Ryan Day won an exciting Welsh derby with Mark Williams 6-5. Northern Ireland Open champion Williams built a 4-1 lead with a top break of 102 before Day made 76 and 65 in recovering to 4-4. The next two were shared then Williams had first chance in the decider but made just 4 before missing a red to a top corner. Day compiled a run of 68 which proved enough.
Day remains ahead of Neil Robertson in the race to the Masters, while defeat for Liang could leave him in danger of being leap-frogged by both players.
“I stayed confident and patient at 4-1 down and the game then changed,” said Day. “I could sense that Mark didn’t feel too comfortable, I know he’s put a new tip on. After the interval it looked as if he’d sanded it down a bit because it literally looked like there was a Fruit Pastille on the end of his cue.
“It’s a good comeback for me and a good win. Mark’s one of the best players to have played the game and he was full of confidence after winning in Northern Ireland last week. I know I’m playing well, I’m putting plenty of work in and I’m feeling more settled every time.
“The Masters race is there in the back of the mind, but the UK Championship is one of the biggest events so that is incentive enough.”
Up and coming Chinese cueman Lyu Haotian scored one of his best career wins with a 6-4 defeat of Marco Fu. Lyu, 20, reached the Northern Ireland Open semi-finals last month and continued to show his potential as he fired breaks of 121, 85, 85 and 80 in beating world number seven Fu.