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Neil Robertson v Graeme Dott: World Grand Prix 2020 final preview – Thunder out to pip Dott to the post at Cheltenham

Jamie Shaw in World Grand Prix

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Graeme Dott grounds Ronnie O’Sullivan at the World Grand Prix as Judd Trump also departs

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Neil Robertson continues winning streak with World Grand Prix glory

Robertson and Dott met in the 2010 world final

Neil Robertson aims to secure his second ranking title in the space of three weeks by extending Graeme Dott’s drought when the pair face off in the final of the 2020 World Grand Prix.

A show-down which signals a repeat of the World Championship final of a decade ago sees Robertson bidding to add to his title tally by denying Dott a first ranking triumph for 13 years.

Robertson is in the midst of a blistering run of form, having claimed the European Masters title a fortnight ago before finishing runner-up in the German Masters a week later.

The Australian ace has stormed into his third consecutive ranking final to move to the cusp of an 18th career ranking title, which would move him ahead of Mark Selby into sixth on the all-time list.

Robertson came through a tense decider against Michael Holt in Round One before whitewashing Mark Williams 4-0 and thrashing his regular practice partner Joe Perry 5-1.

The world number two then saw off Kyren Wilson 6-4 in Saturday’s second Semi-Final and is now out to continue his dominant recent record over Dott.

Dott is through to his first ranking final since the 2018 Shoot-Out and is looking to set a new record for the longest time between ranking titles.

His last success came at the 2007 China Open, a year after being crowned World Champion, with Jimmy White currently holding the record of winning the 2004 Players Championship 12 years after his last triumph at the 1992 UK Championship.

Dott, the world number 21, has lost six of his eight previous ranking final appearances but will feel he has the form capable of carrying him all the way.

The tenacious Scot kicked on from last week’s run to the Semi-Finals of the German Masters by thrashing Kurt Maflin 4-1 and whitewashing Xiao Guodong 4-0 to reach the Quarter-Finals.

There, he recorded his first victory over Ronnie O’Sullivan for nine years before going on to defeat Tom Ford 6-4 in Friday’s opening Semi-Final.

Dott was beaten 5-2 by Robertson in the Last 16 of the recent European Masters and it’s the Australian who has won ten of their 16 previous meetings over the past 16 years.

The World Grand Prix final gets underway from 1pm GMT for a total of eight frames before being played to a finish over the best of 19 from 7pm.


Player’s View:

Robertson: “Graeme Dott has always been a top class player. Some might say he’s under-rated, but among the people who really know the game, we all know what a fantastic player he is.

“He is very positive and attacking and gets on with it so I am expecting an exciting final.”

Dott: “It does feel like 13 years since the last one I won, in fact it feels like longer. I’m not exactly a prolific winner.

“I’ve been playing well and feeling as if this has been coming all season. The pleasing part is that when I don’t have my game I am still able to play to a decent standard.

“I just want to get involved in the match – give me 6-6 on Sunday night and I’ll fancy it.”