GRAEME Dott fears Scotland’s era of snooker dominance may finally be coming to an end.
Former world champion Dott, 35, became the fifth and final Scottish player to fall out of this year’s Betfair World Championships on Friday night.
His second-round 13-11 defeat to Shaun Murphy followed the first-hurdle exits of four-time champion John Higgins, Stephen Maguire, Marcus Campbell and Alan McManus.
And for the first time in 25 years there will be no Scottish player in the quarter-finals at the Crucible Theatre, setting of the now-retired Stephen Hendry’s seven title triumphs.
World No.11 Dott, pictured, could hardly be blamed for his own efforts – having only been edged out by another former winner in Murphy in a late-night encounter of high quality.
“It is very unusual, there is no doubt about that,” said Dott. “And I hope it is a one-off – but you have to say we’re not getting any younger, any of us.
“I am certainly not at 35, John is 37, the same applies to Marcus and Alan. Only Stephen Maguire is a bit younger.
“We really do need a new batch coming through. We have young Anthony McGill, but there aren’t too many others.
“People are saying it is a shock that there are no Scots in the quarter-finals but we might need to get a bit more used to that in the future.
“Obviously we had five to start with coming in to the tournament.
“You could maybe say the two qualifiers, Marcus Campbell and Alan McManus, drawing Ronnie O’Sullivan and Ding Junhui wasn’t too helpful.
“That was always going to be very tough for those two, so you were left with the three seeded players in myself. Stephen Maguire and John Higgins.
“Stephen losing to the Thai player Dechawat Poomjaeng was a massive shock, and so was John losing – but it happens.”
Judd Trump stayed ahead of Marco Fu but rode his luck to carry a two-frame lead into the final session of their second-round tussle.
World No.3 Trump fired three centuries in building a 6-2 lead, but Fu edged the second session to cut his deficit to 9-7 ahead of last night’s session.
Thirteen was the target for a place in the quarter-finals, where Murphy awaits the winner.