Snooker star Mark Davis was beaten in round one of the Haikou World Open this afternoon (Monday).
The world number 15 from St Leonards lost 5-3 to 20th-ranked Robert Milkins despite almost pulling off a stirring comeback from 3-0 down in China.
Milkins won the opening frame 76-6 thanks largely to a break of 55, grabbed the second 66-10 with all his points coming in a single visit and the third 56-10.
Davis rallied to edge the fourth 69-63 and made a 61 in the fifth only for Milkins to pinch it 64-62 for a 4-1 lead. Davis stayed alive by winning the sixth 79-26 and a break of exactly 100 gave him the seventh 122-8.
Forty-year-old Davis also had chances in a tight eighth frame before Milkins eventually got over the line 51-42 for his third victory over Davis this season.
Davis will next be in action against Mark Allen at the PTC Grand Finals in Ireland on Tuesday March 12 as he seeks to be among the 16 seeded players for the World Championships at the end of the season.