Graeme Dott cut a dejected figure as he left the Crucible Theatre last night a first round loser in the 888.com World Championship.

His 10-7 defeat by Ian McCulloch was a bitter disappointment as the proud Scot relinquished his hold on the famous silver trophy.

The match seemed an edgy, nervous affair from first ball to last as Dott, feeling the burden of expectation as defending champion, failed to summon up the golden form that landed him the title last year.

He became the first defending champion to lose on the opening day since Stephen Hendry in 2000 and the first first-time winner to bow out in round one since Dennis Taylor 21 years ago.

I felt sorry for him because I know how much it meant to him, but credit to McCulloch for the way he stuck to his task, particularly in making his 110 break to lead 9-6 when it looked as if the tide may be turning in Dott's favour.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's amazing how the pressure of being champion affects people. The defending champion's first game at the Crucible on day 1 of the Championship always seems to prove the most tense, rarely flowing, affair, with the weight of expectation.