Dott Through To “Horrible” Judgement Day
Graeme Dott admitted that the final round of Cazoo World Championship Qualifying is a “horrible” experience, after reaching Judgement Day with a 10-6 defeat of Andy Hicks at the English Institute of Sport.
Dott has missed out on the Crucible for the last three years, losing in the final round of qualifying on each occasion. That is the longest run since the beginning of his career, in 1994, that he hasn’t been present in the final stages.
The Scot now faces Matthew Selt on Tuesday, over the best of 19 frames, for a place at the Theatre of Dreams. Selt earned his Judgement Day slot with a late night 10-7 win over Peter Lines.
Dott made breaks of 62, 71 and 52 on his way to this evening’s victory and afterwards stated that watching the Crucible from afar in recent times has been difficult.
“It is horrific. It is really not good at all. I would rather just go on holiday for two weeks and not see it. Hopefully this year I can get back there,” said 2006 World Champion Dott.
“That last round is not nice. I don’t think anybody could enjoy it. They are horrible matches to play in. All you want to do is win, regardless of how you feel or how you play. Even the first match is pressured. I felt like I was twitching at 9-3 up today. You need to be able to stand up to it.
“I don’t think there is a lead big enough here that you actually feel relaxed. It doesn’t matter how far ahead you are. I was a little bit nervy there because I wasn’t playing well to go 9-3 up. If Andy got on a run I knew there was a chance he could have run frames off.”
World number 21 Anthony McGill summoned his best snooker at the crucial moment, to come from 9-7 down and beat John Astley 10-9.
The Glaswegian was left shell shocked when Astley fired in breaks of 108, 64 and 128 to lead 8-7, the first time he had been in front since the opening frame. Astley then took the 16th on a re-spotted black to move one from victory.
McGill rallied and crafted breaks of 136 and 98 to force a decider. He took it to get over the line and earn a Judgement Day meeting with Cao Yupeng, who beat Ben Woollaston 10-6.
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh is through to the final round after a 10-5 win over Mark Joyce. The Thai made a tournament high break of 145 during the match. He now faces an intriguing clash with Ricky Walden, who beat Ian Burns 10-6.