Mark Davis will take on Stuart Bingham in the last 16 of the Betfair World Snooker Championship.
St Leonards sensation Davis booked his place with a magnificent 10-6 victory over four-time champion John Higgins on Monday and world number eight Bingham joined him by completing a 10-2 win over Crucible debutant Sam Baird last night (Thursday).
World number 16 Davis will face Bingham, who he sometimes practises with, over the best of 25 frames with the opening session at 10am on Sunday, the second session at 7pm the same day and the third session at 1pm on Monday.
Davis said: “I practise a bit with Stuart. I played him a little bit the last couple of weeks. He’s a top player, top eight in the world and winning tournaments now. I had a good balance with my mindset against John; I was enjoying it but I was focused on the job I had to do.”
The pair met in the semi-finals of the Wuxi Classic right at the start of the season. Bingham surged into a 4-0 lead before Davis, playing in the last four of a full ranking event for the first time, surged back to lead 5-4. Bingham won the next two, however, for a 6-5 victory.
Davis is setting his sights on further progress in the sport’s blue riband event after the biggest win of his career against Higgins. He said: “If you beat the likes of John, you’ve got to try and make the most of it. And if I carry on playing like that, someone’s going to have to play well to beat me.
“I’m still a bit buzzing from playing John, but all I’m thinking about is my next game now. Obviously you dream of getting to the final, but you’ve just got to play your next game; you can’t look any further. It’s one game at a time.”
“It has to be my best result,” continued Davis, who also beat Higgins at the UK Championship during December. “The UK is a massive tournament, but to beat John here at The Crucible in the World Championships it’s got to be my best win without a doubt and hopefully there’s a bit more to come.
“I was proud of myself the way I handled myself and the way I played. I played well near enough all the way through which you’ve got to do if you’re playing John because he’s one of the best players ever to have played the game.”
Davis previously made it to the last 16 in 1995 and 2010, but has never gone beyond that stage. The 40-year-old, who turned professional back in 1991, is enjoying the best season of his career having reached three full ranking event semi-finals.