Dott's 146 hints at his champion potential

GRAEME Dott became just the second man in World Championship history to make a 146 break as the resurgent Scot took charge of his semi-final against Mark Selby.

The 32-year-old from Larkhall had entered his clash with Masters champion Selby as the underdog, with his opponent tagged as the tournament favourite. But, after winning Thursday's opening session 5-3, Dott maintained his dominance to open up a 10-6 lead, and requires just seven more frames today to secure a third appearance in the Crucible final.

Dott has been reborn as a snooker player since the darkest days of his depression, which followed several episodes of strife in his private life. And by reaching the semi-finals in Sheffield he guaranteed himself not only a top-16 ranking but another shot at world title glory.

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The 2004 runner-up secured a first Crucible crown in 2006, beating Peter Ebdon, and on the evidence of the first two sessions against Selby he is playing well enough to win again.

Dott's near-maximum effort came in the 13th frame, taking an early pink before following each other red with the black. Until this World Championship the event had never seen a 146 – there have been nine 147s – but Northern Ireland's Mark Allen made one in his second-round match against Mark Davis to create history.

Unless there is a maximum, Allen and Dott will be sharing the 10,000 top break prize.

Neil Robertson, meanwhile, started and finished his morning session yesterday with century breaks – a total clearance of 140 and 104 – and at one stage looked like winning with a session to spare.

Robertson then added runs of 116, 78 and 51 last night.

Robertson, who reached the semi-finals last year, now holds a 15-9 as he aims to become the first player from outside the British Isles to reach the world final in 27 years.

Thirty-year-old Carter, who had looked disgruntled with his performance and seemed to be lacking interest in the match at 14-7 down, gave himself some hope by winning back-to-back frames before Robertson pinched the last of the night by clearing from green to pink.

The last man from outside Great Britain to reach a World Championship final was Canadian Cliff Thorburn, who lost to Steve Davis in 1983. Thorburn won the world title in 1980, becoming the only player from outside the UK and Ireland to ever triumph at Sheffield's famous theatre.