Dominic Dale at the 2011 Paul Hunter Classic
29 December 1971 |
|Highest ranking||19 (1999/00)|
|29 (as of 9 December 2013)|
|Highest break||145 1999 UK Championship|
Dale won the Welsh Amateur Championship, which allowed him to compete at the World Amateur Championship in Bangkok. Dale reached the final, but lost 9–11 against Noppadon Noppachorn. Dale turned professional for the 1992/1993 season.
He has won two ranking tournaments in his career, the first of which – the Grand Prix in 1997 – he won while ranked number 54 in the world, beating then world number 2 John Higgins 9–6 in the final. It took him a decade to repeat the achievement at the 2007 Shanghai Masters, where he defeated compatriot Ryan Day 10–6 in the final, from 2–6 behind. On his way to the Shanghai final he beat Rory McLeod, Ken Doherty, Adrian Gunnell, Dave Harold and Mark Selby.
Both of his ranking victories were in the season-opening tournaments; he also reached the semi-finals of the season-opening events in 2002 (LG Cup) and 2006 (Northern Ireland Trophy). He also beat Peter Ebdon at the 2008 Malta Cup, despite a bout of stomach cramps and a drinking session the night before the match.
Dale is the only player to have won multiple ranking tournaments without ever reaching the top 16, but he was 14th on the one-year list for both 1997/1998 and 1999/2000 (missing out due to an unsuccessful 1998/1999 season).
Dale won the third professional tournament of his career when he won Event 6 of the Players Tour Championship 2010/2011, beating Martin Gould 4–3 in the final. This win, along with other consistent performances, were enough to see him back into the top 32 players. He also qualified for the World Championship for the first time since 2004, although he was comprehensively beaten 10–2 in the first round by Ronnie O'Sullivan.
Dale had a good start to his 2011/2012 season as he reached the quarter-finals of the first event, the Australian Goldfields Open. Dale was originally due to Ronnie O'Sullivan in the first round, but due to his withdrawal for medical reasons he instead played amateur Steve Mifsud and won 5–2. He then beat home favourite Neil Robertson on the final black in a 5–4 win lasting almost four hours, before losing to Mark Williams in another final frame decider, having never been behind in the match until the end. He then reached the final stages of the UK Championship for the first time since 2005 by beating Nigel Bond in the final qualifying round and was drawn against Judd Trump in the last 32. Dale led 4–2 before Trump had a large slice of fortune in the seventh frame by fluking a pink. Dale would eventually lose the match 4–6. He also reached the 2012 PTC Finals courtesy of finishing twentieth in the Order of Merit. His qualification was largely due to making the final of Event 10, where he was beaten by Michael Holt 2–4. In the Finals he lost 2–4 to Xiao Guodong in the first round. Dale qualified for the World Championship with a 10–3 victory over Ben Woollaston to set up another first round meeting with Judd Trump. He led the match 7–6 against an opponent who later revealed to be suffering from food poisoning, before conceding four successive frames to lose 7–10. Dale finished the season ranked world number 23, meaning he had climbed 8 places during the year.
Dale qualified for nine of the eleven ranking events during the 2012/2013 season, but has so far lost in the first round in seven of those. The exception was at the International Championship where he beat Graeme Dott 6–3, before losing 5–6 to 14 year old Lu Haotian in the second round. Dale's best run in the PTC's came at Event Three by reaching the semi-finals in a run that included a 4–2 over Mark Selby, but he lost to world number 65 Rod Lawler 0–4. Dale finished 28th on the Order of Merit, just outside the top 26 who qualified for the Finals. Dale reached the opening round of the World Championship by dispatching Alfie Burden 10–5 and played Judd Trump at this stage for the second successive year where he was defeated 10–5. His end of season ranking was world number 23 for the second year in a row.
Dale's personality, dress sense and hair styles make him one of the more metrosexual players on the circuit. His interests include snooker memorabilia, Art Deco and operatic singing. After his Shanghai Masters semi-final win, he celebrated by singing "My Way" at the post-match conference.<http://www.worldsnooker.com/page/NewsArticles/0,,13165~2204254,00.html>  In December 2007 Dale moved to Vienna with his then girlfriend. His form declined after this move, which he attributed to not having a professional training partner in Vienna, and he returned to live in the UK four years later, although only for a year. He now lives in Berlin, Germany where he lives with his fiance Cindy. They will marry next year in May. He practises hard at the Berlin Snooker Club where he has an abundance of good practise partners.<http://www.worldsnooker.com/page/NewsArticles/0,,13165~2204254,00.html>
Ranking event finals: 2 (2 titles)
Minor-ranking event finals: 2 (1 title, 1 runner-up)
Non-ranking event finals: 2 (2 runner-ups)