2020 World Grand Prix – Ronnie’s run ends in the QF at the hands of Graeme Dott

Ronnie was beaten by Graeme Dott in the QF of the World Grand Prix yesterday. Here are the scores.

WGP2020 ROS QF Scores

Dott was definitely the better player. He was excellent in all departments. The main issue in Ronnie’s game was a lack of accuracy in the safeties and in the positional game from distance. He isn’t match sharp and it feels. That comes from not playing enough in competition. It’s a difficult situation because Ronnie has never been one who copes well with “overplaying”; he gets “saturated” and stops enjoying it. At this stage of his career, he needs to enjoy it to be able to continue to play, enjoyment and motivation are the keys of longevity, but, on the other hand, he needs to play more to stay sharp.

Reaching the QF, in a tournament that features only the top 32 players of the season so far, isn’t that bad normally. But, in this case, it’s really a bit of a disaster. Ronnie is now 20th on the one year list. He can’t be overtaken, but, Tom Ford’s win yesterday means that he probably needs the final in Wales next week to get the opportunity to defend his Players Championship title. Unless he improves massively in his early round matches, I can’t see this happening. He hasn’t a bad draw, but it’s best of seven matches and Ronnie won’t go there full of confidence…

Here is the report by WST:

Ronnie O’Sullivan’s lack of match sharpness caught up with him as he suffered a surprise 5-3 reverse against Graeme Dott in the quarter-finals of the Coral World Grand Prix.

WGP2020ROSQF-10Former World Champion Dott is through to his second consecutive ranking event semi-final, having got to the same stage of last week’s German Masters, and will now meet Tom Ford, who saw off Gary Wilson 5-2.

O’Sullivan had won his previous five meetings with Dott, a sequence stretching back to 2011, but made too many errors tonight in Cheltenham and was punished. This was O’Sullivan’s first tournament since the Scottish Open two months ago, and even in scoring 4-3 wins over David Gilbert and Liang Wenbo in the first two rounds, he admitted his all-round game was rusty.


The Rocket may need a deep run in either the Welsh Open or the Shoot Out over the next two weeks to qualify for the 16-man Coral Players Championship later this month in Southport; a tournament he won last season.

O’Sullivan took the opening frame tonight after Dott had gone in-off in potting the penultimate red. Larkhall’s Dott hit back with breaks of 77 and 47 as he went 2-1 up, and he stole the fourth with a superb 60 clearance which included a series of excellent positional shots.

After the interval, five-time World Champion O’Sullivan made 52 and 102 as he fought back to 3-3. In frame seven he got the snooker he needed on the last red, but then made a safety error which gave Dott the chance to pot the red and regain the lead. And 42-year-old Dott seized his chance to close out the match in frame eight as a rasping long red set up a break of 91.

“I made a good break in the second frame and that settled me down, I played really well after that,” said 2006 Crucible king Dott. “My game is good, there are still parts of it that I’m not happy with, but it was fine tonight. Tom Ford is a great player and a good mate of mine as well so it’s nice that one of us will be in the final. It should be an open, attacking match.”

O’Sullivan said: “Graeme played well he deserved his victory, he was much the better player. I’ve got no complaints, I did well to get three frames. It’s hard to analyse my own performance, it doesn’t matter how I played, I just didn’t get the result. I always felt I was second best.”

Big thanks to Tai Chengzhe for these great pictures


The match


9 thoughts on “2020 World Grand Prix – Ronnie’s run ends in the QF at the hands of Graeme Dott

  1. One thing seems clear: if Ronnie does play the WC this season, he should have less pressure/expectations on him that he did in other recent years. Chances are that both Trump and Robertson will be favorites above Ronnie, which should help him to feel a bit more relaxed…

    Plus, if he hasn’t won a ranking event by the time he gets to the WC, he would presumably be more motivated to win than he has the past few years when he had already amassed a lot of trophies prior to the WC.

  2. I don’t think that Ronnie played badly he played well, but Dott played better in this evening. Ronnie had sometimes bad luck and of course he made some mistakes – all player do that!! I had the feeling, that when the red ball didn’t go in the pocket when he did the split he would have won this frame!! And he looked in this situation the first time in the match really destroyed and.for me this was the point where he lost the match I think when he could go 4:3 up he would have won the match!! Naturally it is bad for his qualifation but I hope he will be able to take the next chance!

  3. I think you are definitely justified in thinking that way. Everything we’ve seen and heard from Ronnie (prior to this season) would suggest that you’re right. Ronnie’s approach to this season has given rise to an alternative possibility, but I agree that the odds are still in the direction of Ronnie collapsing at the Crucible.

    I do think, though, that there must be a part of him who wants his legacy at the WC to be a lot more positive than the barge incident and becoming the first and only player to lose to an amateur. He might not care that much about the WC himself, but I’m sure he realizes that his status among the greats of the game (in the minds of most fans) depends more on his Crucible record than on anything else. I don’t think he ever cared about his legacy or status until recently, when Hendry’s records were in reach and Ronnie started thinking of himself in terms of the Roger Federers and Tiger Woods’s of other sports…

    • I’m not sure that he feels he lost to an amateur, despite this being technically the case. Cahill had been a pro for four years, and was practising at the Grove, same place as Ronnie. He knew that Cahill is capable when he is serious about his snooker, which he hasn’t always been. Personally, I think that all the fuss around Cahill being an amateur was rather artificial and a media stunt. He had more experience on tour than many of the other players who were in their first or second year.

      • I just remember how he destroyed Cahill in the Scottish, the shortest possible match, amateur or not, I’m sure that loss stang.

        Otherwise while yesterday was painful to watch with all the bad run of the balls, it was too unlucky, Ronnie did not play that bad, but I’m sure you are right about the lack of match practice hurting him. I understand he needs to “enjoy” his snooker, but suspect that these losses are not too enjoyable. It is a pity he won’t make it to the other Corals, I’m sure he wanted to play them, but after he lost the UK, the latest, he should have realized the need to play a little more (last year he lost first round here, but it did not matter as he had the UK won), and play one of the Europeans, or both, despite the need to qualify. Unfortunately it is a very crappy season, I know that he made some later rounds and lost to the eventual winner, but frankly, nobody cares about that. Now I wonder if he’ll start sulking and simply not go to the Crucible at all.

  4. I only watched a few minutes of the match, including the time when the score was 3-3 and Ronnie was on a break of 17 and was unlucky to knock in a red after going into the pack off the blue. If that red hadn’t gone it, there’s a very good chance Ronnie would have won that frame on one visit and gone on to win the match.

    If there’s any bright side to Ronnie not qualifying for the PC or TC (if that’s what ends up happening), it’s that he should be much more fresh and motivated for the WC than he has been for the past few years…

    • Ronnie didn’t have much run, there were other occasions when he had some bad luck in that match indeed. That said, I’m still very much doubtful about his motivation for the World Championship. I’m afraid that he has developped a kind of mental block when it comes to it.

  5. 3: 5 is just the numbers. Of course, Ronald is upset. I want to say: he’s GREATEST OF ALL TIME.

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