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  Tuesday, 26 February, 2002, 16:47 GMT
Dott suffers China crisis
Graeme Dott
Graeme Dott: Late in Orient

If there was an award for the world's unluckiest sportsman - snooker player Graeme Dott would walk it.

The Scotsman was left tearing his hair out after a nightmare sequence of events led to his exit from the China Open.

At the end of it all, he described his mood as "suicidal".

When Dott, 24, left his home in Larkhall, he would have been expecting a routine journey to his hotel in Shanghai.

Not a chance.


For the first couple of frames I didn't have any underpants on!
Graeme Dott

His troubles began when a fierce snowstorm delayed his connecting flight from Glasgow Airport to Heathrow.

As a result he missed the London-Bangkok flight by 10 minutes and had to wait 10 hours for another one.

When he finally touched down in Thailand there was a further 10-hour delay before he got the flight to Shanghai.

A severely jet-lagged Dott finally arrived at his hotel 41 hours after he'd left home and decided to have a quick nap.

Wrong move, amigo.

Confused

Two unheard alarm clocks and several missed calls later, Dott was being shaken awake by worried officials - 20 minutes before his match with Darren Morgan was due to start.

Could things possibly get any worse? You betcha.

After leaping out of bed, he summoned a taxi, only for the confused driver to drop him off at the wrong venue.

He ended up sprinting to the Shanghai International Gymnastics Stadium and was promptly docked two frames for arriving 20 minutes late.

"I just can't believe what's happened," he groaned after eventually going down 5-3 to the Welshman.

Darren Morgan
Morgan: Sorry, but not that sorry

"My head was spinning every time I got down over a shot. This is a total nightmare.

"I didn't have time to brush my teeth, have a shave and for the first couple of frames I didn't have any underpants on!"

Morgan, who missed his first round match in last year's Regal Scottish Open due to a cancelled flight, expressed sympathy for his opponent.

"I feel really sorry for Graeme," he admitted. "It's terrible luck for him."

Dott is now steeling himself for a return journey to Bangkok for next week's Thailand Masters and confessed: "I'd much rather not be here.

"I don't know what I'm going to do in Thailand but I'm going to set off now - just in case."

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