Mark Davis suffered an agonising defeat in round two of the China Open snooker tournament this morning (Thursday).
The St Leonards potter looked set to reach his fourth full ranking event quarter-final of the season when he opened up a 4-2 lead against Jack Lisowski only to lose the last three for a 5-4 reverse.
The result means that Davis will have to qualify for next month’s World Championship even though he is 16th in the rankings. Ronnie O’Sullivan, who is now outside the top 16, is returning to the sport for the World Championship and will be seeded one by virtue of being the defending champion.
Davis edged a tight opening frame 59-51 before Lisowski, who knocked out world number one Judd Trump in the previous round, rattled through the second 91-0 with all his points coming in a single visit.
Forty-year-old Davis went back in front by taking the third 71-0 thanks to a break of 70 only for 42nd-ranked Lisowski to square the match for a second time by bagging the fourth 92-0 helped by a run of 70.
Davis, the reigning Six Reds World Champion, edged a tight fifth frame 65-55 and put himself on the brink of victory by winning the sixth 68-4. The up-and-coming Lisowski turned things around, however, with a trio of 70-plus breaks.
Lisowski made it 4-3 by winning the seventh frame 96-30 aided by a run of 80 and squared the match again by claiming the eighth 81-12 with a 71. He then rattled through the decider 88-1 via an 81.