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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 April 2007, 14:25 GMT 15:25 UK
Dott beats Cope to win China Open
Graeme Dott
Dott enjoyed the perfect boost before he returns to the Crucible
Graeme Dott warmed up for the defence of his world title by beating Jamie Cope 9-5 to win the China Open in his first final since his Crucible triumph.

The Scot, who beat Ronnie O'Sullivan in the semis, had to dig deep to overcome his 21-year-old opponent, who lost his second ranking final of the season.

Dott led 6-2 after the first session but Cope won three frames on the resumption to cut his deficit to one.

But Dott pulled away again to win only his second ranking-event title.

"Winning any tournament gives you confidence and it's a great boost for me looking ahead to the Crucible," said Dott.

When Jamie came back to 6-5 that seemed to spur me on. Suddenly I woke up

Graeme Dott
"I came out to China a few days early for a tour (of Inner Mongolia) and played a few exhibitions. That really helped me as I got over my jetlag and I felt ready for the tournament.

"Usually I lose in the first round here but I've beaten Ronnie O'Sullivan and John Higgins on my way to the title so I've done it the hard way."

The 29-year-old made breaks of 72, 60, 70 and 95 to earn himself a healthy four-frame advantage in the afternoon session, with Cope managing runs of 65 and 97.

The Stoke potter hit back in spirited fashion with breaks of 90 and 77 before winning the 11th frame 71-57 to to trail by one frame at 6-5 down.

But Dott, now the provisional world number one ahead of the World Championship in three weeks, stepped up another gear with breaks of 124 and 126 in successive frames.

And he completed victory when he pinched a scrappy 14th frame 71-40 to secure the 35,000 winner's cheque.

"I had a good lead, but made three or four terrible mistakes and gave him chances to get back," Dott added.

I'm only 21, so there's still lots of times to win titles

Jamie Cope
"For some reason I just felt a bit flat. It was a struggle, but when Jamie came back to 6-5 that seemed to spur me on. Suddenly I woke up."

Cope, who was beaten by Australian Neil Robertson in the Grand Prix final in October, had to settle for the 17,500 runner-up prize, as well as 2,000 for the tournament's highest break of 145 against Shaun Murphy.

"It's disappointing to lose my second final, but I've got to be happy with the way I played," he said.

"I've had a great week, I just need to get used to playing these longer frame matches.

"I'm only 21, so there's still lots of time to win titles. I thought I had a really good chance to win, but I missed a chance to level at 3-3 and at 6-5 down I didn't really get a shot for two frames.

"I think it's just a question of getting that winning belief. Once I get my first title it will set me off and by the law of averages I must win one eventually."



SEE ALSO
Dott ousts Rocket to reach final
31 Mar 07 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan stumbles past Carter
29 Mar 07 |  Snooker
Ding falls to Hawkins in Beijing
28 Mar 07 |  Snooker
Robertson clinches Aberdeen win
29 Oct 06 |  Snooker


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