Davis ready to tame Rocket Ronnie

SNOOKER star Mark Davis believes he has a "good chance" of beating new World Champion and world number one Ronnie O'Sullivan in the first round of the Grand Prix in Preston.

Thursday, 30th September 2004, 3:04 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 11:20 pm

The Hastings-based world number 42 beat O'Sullivan, whom he describes as "without a doubt" the most naturally talented player that the game has ever witnessed, 5-1 in the 2001 Scottish Open. And if he is to pull off another major upset then the first game of the season is as likely a time as any to do so.

He said: "It's great to play Ronnie and it will be a good match hopefully. I'm looking forward to it, I've got a bit of form at the moment (he reached the final of the Pontin's Festival at Prestatyn, Wales, last week). But let's be honest, if he plays well then there's a very slim chance I'm going to win. But I said that the last time I played him and he wasn't quite on top form and I won 5-1 quite comfortably. He probably hasn't been playing for all that long I wouldn't have thought so it's probably a good time to get him.

"The guy is a brilliant player and there's probably 31 other players I would rather have drawn but he does give you a chance at the end of the day (because of his attacking style of play).

"It would be a brilliant start (to the season) if I can beat him but it's only one match. I'm looking to get into the top 32 but at the end of the day the main priority is to stay in the top 56 (in order to remain on the top flight LG Electronics Tour for 2005-06). I'm still not 100 per cent with everything but I'm reasonably confident with my game at the moment."

Coverage of this weekend's event will be screened on BBC Television.

Davis would like to thank sponsor Mick Maplesden and followers Chris Quinnell and Ivor Standen for their support.