Phil Haigh ✍️
Dave Gilbert is happy to admit that there are players he would rather avoid in the World Snooker Championship draw, saying that people who claim they want to play the likes of Ronnie O’Sullivan and Neil Robertson are talking rubbish.
The Angry Farmer booked his spot at the Crucible with a comfortable 10-3 win in the final round of qualifying on Wednesday night, following a 6-1 victory over Rory McLeod in his opening match.
The former Crucible semi-finalist is looking good but he does not fancy having a crack at the very biggest names when he heads to the famous old theatre.
Gilbert reckons there is a ‘big four’ to avoid in Thursday morning’s draw, with Ronnie O’Sullivan, Judd Trump, Neil Robertson and Mark Selby the deadliest sharks in the water.
On Tuesday night’s final qualifying rounds, the likes of Jamie Jones and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh said they would love to play O’Sullivan, but Gilbert reckons they are talking nonsense.
‘All these players saying they want Judd, Ronnie, they’re talking rubbish,’ Gilbert told WST. ‘I want to avoid Judd, Ronnie, Robbo and Selby. They’re the big four.
‘One of them is likely to win it. If I can avoid one of them four…I ain’t taking anything away from any of the other guys, but I’ll be honest and say it how it is.’
Speaking to talkSPORT, Gilbert added: ‘I don’t want to put anyone down but there’s a big difference between the top four or a [Anthony] McGill or a Luca [Brecel]. They’re all brilliant players, but lets be honest, the big four are the ones more likely to pick the thing up.
‘After round one you’ll play anybody, but people saying they want to draw Ronnie, Judd, Robbo, I’m not having it at all.’
Ever the realist, the 40-year-old may admit he doesn’t love his chances against the top four in the world, but he does know that most of the top 16 will not want to see his name alongside theirs in the draw on Thursday morning.
‘In form and head on I can give anyone a game,’ he said. ‘I’ve proved I can play in these big arenas now, I’ve got a bit of experience there.
‘I’m sure there’ll be better draws than me.’
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