We all remember your semi-final against Ronnie in 2006, and obviously the cameras and television people were focussed on his mental breakdown and all the nonsense about tips. I loved reading your take on the match and how you and Del Hill devised a plan to beat Ronnie. All questions I would have about this match are answered in the book but looking back on it now, how much satisfaction do you take from it? It must be one to tell the grandchildren?
Yes I take massive satisfaction from it, it’s one of my best ever wins. Where I take the most satisfaction from it and where a lot of people don’t look at it the way I look at it, is that it was the way I played, that made Ronnie give up. People always look at it the other way round, like that was the year that Ronnie didn’t really care, when that’s not the case. That’s why I get annoyed when people like Clive (Everton in reference to a comment in Frame of Mind in which Graeme saw a documentary featuring Clive commenting on the match) said something like I didn’t win, Ronnie threw the match away. And that hurts, because that wasn’t the case.
i totally agree with that yes Ronnie self destructed but credit got to be given to the player i can guarantee if dott made things easy for him ronnie would have won quite easily with the talent he has and breaks gal lore.
and the criticism the 2006 final has had from sections of the media and fans has been ridiculous i thoroughly enjoyed it of course if every match was played like that it wouldn't pay but ffs it was a World Final.
RC: Well I thought it was a good final but the scheduling didn’t help, the fact you were starting at 3pm and didn’t play the allotted frames and then it went very late on the first day. But by the time we were midway through the second day I was very much into it and couldn’t take my eyes off it and I think it’s a shame a lot of people couldn’t see it the same way.
It seems to bother you when some people label you as a “grinder” when this is only one facet of your game which is better described as “gritty”. It’s obvious you can play fast attacking snooker but in trying to prove that you can play this way do you feel the unfair criticism we just talked about forced you into going for more shots and changed your natural game?
GD: No. I explained that in the book, why I started attacking more. But it does annoy me that snooker players get pigeonholed into what type of player they are and no matter how much they then change their game it always goes back to that same pigeonhole.
It does annoy me that snooker players get pigeonholed into what type of player they are and no matter how much they then change their game it always goes back to that same pigeonhole
Fergal O’Brien will always be a slow player. If he changed his game and started going for everything he would still be tagged as a slow player. And with me no matter what I’ve done, I will always be tagged as a grinder. And if a game took a long time, oh that’ll be Graeme going tactical, when it wasn’t anything to do with it!
There are players playing right now who I think are incredibly negative, and the commentators and press think they’re attacking players.
ok it annoys him that commentators pigeonholed players as one sort of player and yet he is guilty of doing exactly the same thing to other players.EXIBIT A
RC: So you see Mark Selby as a negative player?
GD: (laughs) I think without any shadow of a doubt! I think THE most!
RC: You’re talking to a Mark Selby fan here! (laughs)
GD: I think Mark Selby is a phenomenal player. But he’s definitely the most negative player in the top 16. I am actually a Mark Selby fan myself and I’m not having a go at him, he is my main tip outside John Higgins to win the World. He’s got all the game needed to win it, his game suits the Crucible. But I just think if you look down to the amount of re-racks Mark Selby has, I’ll bet you he’s had ten times more than any other player! After his matches he’ll always say that the balls went a bit scrappy there, but it’s Mark that makes the balls go scrappy by his shot selection. I’ve played him often enough and he’s definitely got a negative streak which he finds hard to stop but I don’t know why he needs to do it because he’s a phenomenal player and if he opens up I think he’ll win a lot more tournaments.
every player plays negative shots but to pigeonhole him as a negative player is not looking at the full picture of how a clever attacking player he is.
RC: You mentioned that you’ve got nothing against a shot clock in snooker. Do you say this because you want to prove you’re not a slow player or do you actually prefer the scenario of being forced to think on your feet?
GD: I just think that slow players kind of kill the game to be honest. I don’t think there’s any reason to play slow. I played in the Premier League with a shot clock and there were lots of games where players only took one time out. If I’m playing well I don’t think having a shot clock would make any difference whatsoever. I can easily play with a shot clock. I think it would stop the players that deliberately take such a long time to play a shot.
no greame slow players shows out how talented fast players are and its very much part of the game the contrast of speed and styles brings to the party.
RC: I think the reason for the way it is, is because of television and the fact you get more people at home at the weekend so that’s when more people want to watch the snooker, so it would be a difficult one to not have any action on the Saturday. As a snooker fan I’d be against any reduction in format too because the yardstick is the World Championships and the format remaining consistent means every final is first to 18 and historically the final scores are like 18-16, 18-15 or whatever so to reduce it would take something away from it.
GD: Yes I would never want it reduced but the way the standard is nowadays it was ok in the time during the 80’s with Dennis Taylor and Steve Davis and players like that because they were slaughtering people in the first round, second round, quarter-finals. I mean if you look at the match between Dennis Taylor and Steve Davis in 1985, I think both of them won their semi-finals with a session to spare. So they were slaughtering people and it didn’t take as much out of you.
But even last year I’ve had to beat Ebdon, Maguire, Mark Allen and Mark Selby and then had to go and play in the final. It’s not like it was years ago.
players still win today with sessions to spare you just have to be good enough to achieve it.
in 2009 Shaun Murphy beat Marco Fu 13-3 in 2 sessions while John Higgins had 2 13-12s and yet Higgins blew Murphy away in the final.
this tiredness Argument is a poor excuse to Excuse rubbish play