NEIL ROBERTSON has been effectively knocked out of TWO snooker events after losing in the Welsh Open.
The Thunder from Down Under suffered a shock whitewash loss to world number 56 Dominic Dale in Llandudno.
But the defeat has wider ramifications for Robertson who now will not be able to defend his Players Championship title.
The Australian needed at least two wins in Wales to qualify for the tournament as the Players Championship only features the top 16 on the one-year ranking list.
Robertson's surprise capitulation to Dale means he's now received the double blow of not being able to win two tournaments.
The 41-year-old beat Barry Hawkins in last year's Players Championship final, while he has also won the Welsh Open twice previously in
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Robertson was on a break in the opening frame against Dale but a mistake opened the door to the Welshman and he took control, eventually winning 4-0.
Dale, whose new hairdo caught the eye of Ronnie O'Sullivan, will now play Yuan Sijun in the last 32.
The unfancied snooker ace could hardly believe his comfortable victory over two-times Masters champ and former no.1 Robertson.
Dale told BBC Wales: "I don’t think even Ronnie [O’Sullivan] would expect to beat Neil 4-0 ever, it was the scoreline that surprised me.
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"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."
Robertson can now look forward to the Champions League Winners' Group before the WST classic in March.
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