Snooker’s top players return to Crawley for the 19.com English Open next month, and local star Mark Davis heads into the tournament full of confidence having reached the final last year.
Hastings ace Davis beat Ronnie O’Sullivan 6-1 in the semi-finals, a result he describes as the best of his career.
This year’s tournament at K2 Crawley runs from October 14-20, with 128 players battling for the trophy. Last year, top stars including O’Sullivan, John Higgins, Judd Trump, Mark Selby and Mark Williams were in the field. Stuart Bingham beat Davis 9-7 in the final.
That was a first appearance in a ranking event final for Davis, 27 years after he turned professional. And though he missed out on the £70,000 top prize, the 47-year-old is looking forward to returning to Crawley for another tilt at the title.
“It was a really good week and one of the best tournaments I have had in terms of how I felt,” said Davis, ranked 38th in the world.
“That must have been in part down to being so close to home. I had people coming to watch me in every match. Going back to the same venue will bring back good memories and hopefully I can play some decent stuff again.
“I played really well against Ronnie (O'Sullivan). Even the top players miss when you put them under pressure and punish their mistakes. To beat him 6-1 was fantastic and probably the best result I have had. Any time that you play Ronnie it is a different experience. He is the man and always will be, as long as he keeps playing.
“As good as John Higgins and Judd Trump are, Ronnie is a little bit special to play against and it is amazing when you beat him.
“If I end my career having not won a ranking event, I will have nobody to blame but myself. Getting to that final did give me extra confidence. I just need to be more consistent.”
The 19.com English Open is the first of the 2019-20 season Home Nations series, with a £1 million bonus up for grabs for any player who can win all four events. It will be televised on Eurosport and Quest.
Tickets are ON SALE NOW and start at just £10. With up to nine matches in a single session, it’s a fantastic chance for fans to see a wide range of the best players in the world for a price of a single ticket.
For details see www.worldsnooker.com/tickets or call 0871 620 7052