Davis eyes World Champs seeding

Mark Davis is hoping for a good run at the Welsh Open in his quest to secure a seeding for the World Championship
Mark Davis is hoping for a good run at the Welsh Open in his quest to secure a seeding for the World Championship

His end of season family holiday may already be booked but Mark Davis has his eyes firmly on securing automatic qualification for the World Snooker Championship, continuing with this week’s Welsh Open.

Currently ranked 13 in the world after one of the best seasons of his 22-year professional career, the St Leonards cueman is two places inside the top 15 required to qualify directly.

It is something he has not yet had the pleasure of doing previously, instead having to battle through the pre-tournament qualifiers to make it to the season-ending event in late April and May.

And while he exited The Masters at the first round stage despite a tremendous comeback against defending champion Mark Selby, Davis made it to the recent quarter-finals of the German Masters to earn valuable points.

This week’s Welsh Open will give him another chance to boost his standings even more, and while a trip to Florida awaits him no matter what, Davis is intent on leaving his mark.

“It’s not going too bad for me at the minute, I’ve had a solid start to the year,” said Davis.

“Last season was really good for me and I’m probably up to my highest ever ranking now. I need to look to make the most of that now in the coming weeks, the aim is to try and win a ranking event as soon as possible.

“I’m trying to earn as many points as I can so that I am seeded for the World Championships. I’ve never been seeded to go straight through before; I’ve always had to go through those terrible qualifiers so it will be good to avoid that.

“I’ve got a bit of a break planned for the end of the season, we’re heading to Florida with the kids in May, I’ve never been there before and we’re all looking forward to it. I’ve just got to win some money to pay for it now.

“It’s about putting in a big push between now and May and trying to play well in the next few weeks.”

Davis will come up against Switzerland’s Alexander Ursenbacher, ranked 117 in the world, in the first round of the Welsh Open tomorrow (Friday). And having not enjoyed much success at the tournament in recent years, the Englishman is hoping to put in an improved performance this time around.

“I don’t actually think I’ve done that well at the Welsh Open for some reason over the years, not that I can think of, hopefully I can turn that around,” he added.

“I’ve got a couple of friends down in that area so it will be nice to catch up with them too. It’s a nice arena at the Newport Centre and I like playing there, it’s a great tournament.”

British Eurosport is the Home of Snooker, showing 19 tournaments this season including the World Championship, UK Championship, the Masters and all ranking events, available on Sky, Virgin Media & BT or online/on mobile via eurosportplayer.co.uk