DOMINIC Dale insists he still has plenty of snooker left in him despite being knocked out in the first round of the Welsh Open this week.
The Coventry-born cueman fought back from 3-0 down on Monday against Alfie Burden to level the match at 3-3 but he could not see out the seventh and final frame.
However, the 44-year-old admits he was out of practice arriving at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena and claims he is not too disappointed to be exiting the tournament.
“My preparation wasn’t great,” said Dale, who grew up in Brownshill Lane near the old Jaguar factory in Allesley. “I hadn’t practiced for a day and a half and I had about 40 minutes before I came in.
“I knew I was a bit short of form and it showed in the first few frames but the longer the match went on the more I got into it.
“Alfie played really well in the first few frames but as I got stronger I was able to control him a little bit and he was making mistakes towards the end.
“Only champions, and I am a champion, look at a defeat in the right way. It’s the quitters that look at it in the wrong way and think of giving up.
“Why would I give up? I’m virtually in the top 32 in the world, I’m earning a good living from the sport. I’ve still got a lot of good snooker left in me.”
Dale will now be focusing on his media duties for the rest of the week in the Welsh capital but after suffering from some bad luck in his first-round exit, the world No.34 is nott too downbeat.
“It’s the best of seven and it’s tough,” he added. “I don’t think you beat yourself up, there’s better players than me that have lost so never mind.
“We’re going to see a lot of shocks in this tournament, we’ve seen some already. It’s just the nature of snooker, it’s a short sprint.
“In the last frame I had a phenomenally unlucky in-off, I potted a red that was over the pocket.
“I thought I was going to cannon loads of reds but I found a ridiculous gap to go in-off the middle pocket and he’s won the match pretty much off that.”
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