In-form Davis targets ranking title

Mark Davis in action at the Shanghai Masters snooker tournament. Picture courtesy Tai Chengzhe, World Snooker

Mark Davis in action at the Shanghai Masters snooker tournament. Picture courtesy Tai Chengzhe, World Snooker

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Snooker star Mark Davis is targeting a first ranking event title after three superb weeks in the far east.

The St Leonards talent won the Sangsom 6-Red World Championship in Thailand and General Cup in Hong Kong - both non-ranking events - before reaching the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters, which is a ranking event.

Davis told Observer Sport: “I couldn’t really have asked for much more when you reflect on the three weeks. I was disappointed when I lost in the quarter-finals, but if you had offered me that before I left, I would’ve bitten your hand off.”

The 41-year-old chalked up a remarkable eight wins against players in the top 10 of the world rankings during his Asian adventure, including beating top ranked Neil Robertson in two finals.

“To win a ranking event title is the next goal,” Davis went on. “I’ve beaten a lot of the top players; it’s just putting it all together in one tournament - that’s why ranking events are so hard to win.

“I would like to win a tournament and the other thing is to be in the Masters again. It’s going in the right direction. If I can keep the form up and keep playing as I am, hopefully it won’t be too far away. I feel I’m playing well enough, but sometimes that’s not enough.”

After beating 2012 World Championship runner-up Ali Carter 5-2 and four-time world champion John Higgins 5-1 in Shanghai last week, Davis was the highest ranked player in the top half of the draw going into the quarter-finals.

He then led 3-1 and 4-2 against 28th-ranked Xiao Guodong on Friday, but lost the subsequent three frames for a 5-4 defeat. Guodong went on to beat Michael Holt in the semi-finals before losing to Chinese compatriot Ding Junhui.

See tomorrow’s Hastings Observer for the full article.