Davis qualifies for World Champs

Mark Davis has qualified for the World Snooker Championship for the eighth time
Mark Davis has qualified for the World Snooker Championship for the eighth time
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Mark Davis has qualified for the World Snooker Championship.

The St Leonards cueman booked his place at The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield later this month courtesy of a 10-6 victory over Liang Wenbo in the final round of the qualifiers.

It was a tricky draw for world number 16 Davis because 34th-ranked Chinese potter Wenbo had knocked in one century and nine half-century breaks in a 10-3 success against Bexhill-based Jimmy Robertson in the previous round.

Davis compiled a break of 70 to clinch the opening frame only for Wenbo to reply with runs of 83 and 68 in the next two. Davis then reeled off four straight frames to take a 5-2 lead, bagging the fifth and seventh without conceding a point thanks to breaks of 71 and 99, and edging a tight sixth.

Wenbo hit back with runs of 67 and 57 to end the first session yesterday (Saturday) afternoon trailing 5-4, and a 71 gave him the opening frame of the second session this afternoon to level at 5-5.

Davis edged in front again via a 115 in the next and then claimed a tight 12th frame despite Wenbo’s 53 to lead 7-5. Although Wenbo took the 13th frame, Davis produced some top quality snooker to seal the match.

The 40-year-old, who would have bypassed the qualifiers had defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan not elected to return to the sport, took the 14th with a break of 61, 15th with a 65 and 16th with a 103.

Davis first competed in the famous championship as long ago as 1992 and has appeared at The Crucible on seven previous occasions, reaching the last 16 twice. He will be paired with one of the 16 seeded players in tomorrow’s draw.