Robertson out of two events with one defeat after whitewash loss to Dale

Neil Robertson suffered a shock 4-0 defeat to Dominic Dale in the second round of the Welsh Open on Tuesday, which confirmed that he will not qualify for the upcoming Players Championship.

The Australian was firm favourite to beat the Welsh veteran but never got going while his opponent impressed to produce the stunning scoreline.

Robertson was on a break in the opening frame when he nudged a red with his cue while using the bridge rest and Dale stepped in to make 71 and go ahead.

The Thunder from Down Under never recovered and Dale moved into the last 32 in some style.

The loss obviously ends his hopes of winning the Welsh Open for a third time but also ruins his chances of defending the Players Championship title that he won last year.

The event only features the top 16 on the one-year ranking list and Robertson needed at least two wins in Wales this week to qualify, which he hasn’t managed.

It is a great win for Dale, though, who will play Yuan Sijun after the remarkable result.

‘I don’t think even Ronnie [O’Sullivan] would expect to beat Neil 4-0 ever, it was the scoreline that surprised me,’ Dale told BBC Wales. ‘It’s a bit of a blur, I think I played very well.

‘Everything could have changed in the first frame, he had the bridge rest out and committed a foul. That was the turning point, as early as the first frame, the first few balls.’

As for Robertson, he is now a bit short of snooker ahead of the World Championship as he will not be in the Players Championship and therefore will struggle to get into the eight-man Tour Championship.

He will play in the Championship League Winners’ Group and then the WST Classic in March before heading to Sheffield in April in a bid for a second world title.

Robertson wasn’t the only other big name to suffer a surprise 4-0 loss on Tuesday, with Ding Junhui whitewashed by countryman Cao Yupeng.

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