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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 May 2006, 01:48 GMT 02:48 UK
Dott breaks duck
By Saj Chowdhury
at the Crucible theatre

New World Snooker Champion Graeme Dott
Graeme Dott broke his duck of not having won a title in the most spectacular way imaginable at the 2006 World Championship.

Just when it seemed Peter Ebdon was about to scupper his quest for glory, the 28-year-old called on all his reserves to win his first world crown.

There is no doubt the match was also tedious at times, but Dott will not care whether people enjoyed his road to victory or not.

One thing he will be hoping is that people begin to respect him for what he has achieved.

"It annoys me I don't get the credit I deserve," he said after his 17-11 win over Ronnie O'Sullivan in their semi-final.

Maybe the Glaswegian had a right to be annoyed.

The following day, most of the press chose to reflect on O'Sullivan's collapse rather than Dott's dogged and patient display.

The whole tournament has been a dream
Graeme Dott

The same press will surely now have to bow to his efforts.

After going 11-5 and 15-7 up against Ebdon, Dott seemed certain to win his first world crown.

Of all the players he could have faced in the final, Ebdon is the most resilient, and the Wellingborough star was intent on making life difficult for his opponent.

But even after the 35-year-old pulled to within two frames and was in the ascendency, Dott steadied his nerves to come out on top 18-14.

The Scot must have thought the day he would win a title, never mind a world title, would never come.

In 1999, he made the final of the Regal Scottish but succumbed 9-1 to fellow Scot Stephen Hendry.

Graeme Dott celebrates his victory
Dott shows what the title means to him

Another compatriot, John Higgins, then beat him to the 2001 British Open title before he lost again to Hendry in last year's final of the Malta Cup.

In between those defeats Dott secured a berth in his first World Championship final, overcoming Mark King, Higgins, David Gray and Matthew Stevens along the way.

There he met O'Sullivan, who was at the height of his powers.

Dott stunned all by taking a 5-0 lead, before the predicted 'Rocket' charge put paid to the Scot's efforts.

However, Dott, who picked up a cheque worth 125,000, chose to look on the bright side.

"The whole tournament has been a dream," he said. "I would have got carried away if it had been the first to six in the final!"

Despite his four final losses, his enthusiasm and love for the game has never been in question.

That love and determination has carried him to his first title - the 2006 World Championship.


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