07 February 2020 08:52
Staged in The Centaur venue at the track, a place that will be rocking with racegoers at the world famous Cheltenham Festival next month, it was the outsider of two that prevailed here as punters' pal O'Sullivan crashed out at the third last flight. The Rocket actually started in his customary front-running role, going 1-0 up thanks to a tight 76-51 scoreline in the first frame, but Dott roared back by taking three frames on the spin. Breaks of 60 and 70 helped him forge the 3-1 advantage, but O'Sullivan dug deep to get back into contention and a break of 102 levelled things at 3-3 in the sixth frame. The crowd sensed their favourite would get up the hill from there, but it was Dott that flew home to land the spoils, with breaks of 52 and 91 sealing the 5-3 victory. In the night's other quarter-final Tom Ford beat Gary Wilson 5-2.
It was all square after the first four frames but Ford forged clear thereafter, breaks of 84 and 54 helping him to a 4-2 lead before he sealed the victory in the seventh frame. Judd Trump and Ronnie O'Sullivan both crashed out of the Coral World Grand Prix in Cheltenham on Thursday. Trump lost a final-frame decider to fall 4-3 to Kyren Wilson in their last-16 clash in the afternoon session. Then O'Sullivan was beaten 5-3 by Graeme Dott, who finished with a break of 91 to book his place in the semi-finals. Trump, the world number one and defending champion, missed the decisive blue in a 37-minute deciding frame as Wilson showed signs of a return to form.
Wilson said: "My game has been there this season but it has been frustrating for me not to get the results. I know I'm capable of producing good snooker on the big stage." Wilson will play John Higgins in the quarter-finals after the veteran Scot beat China's Zhao Xintong 4-1. Dott held off a minor fightback from O'Sullivan to claim his first win over his fellow former world champion in nine years. Playing in his first tournament of the year, O'Sullivan clawed back a 3-1 deficit to level at 3-3, but Dott finished strongly to get over the line. In the last four Dott will face Tom Ford, who kept his quest for a first tour title alive with a 5-2 win over Gary Wilson. Neil Robertson fired three centuries to whitewash Mark Williams 4-0 and set up a last-16 clash with Joe Perry, who beat Scott Donaldson 4-2.