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Last Updated: Monday, 26 January, 2004, 16:26 GMT
Welsh Open is just the start
Steve Davis
By Steve Davis
BBC Sport commentator and former world champion

If someone had offered me the chance of playing in the final of the Welsh Open at the start of the season, I'd have snapped their hand off.

But after losing a close battle with Ronnie O'Sullivan, I've got mixed emotions.

It was a good return to some much-needed form, but I let a big fish off the hook.

I don't view this as some sort of comeback because there are so many good players around.

I have not set myself any targets this year but I have it in the back of my mind that I want to be in the world's top 16 at 50

You just have to try and be patient, wait your chance and take it when it comes around.

A bit like the golfing world, you can be in the doldrums for a while and just hit form.

And for a couple of years, I lost a bit of direction and motivation.

My attitude towards the game has changed now. I am nowhere near as intense as I used to be.

It is okay to be that single-minded when you are younger but you change emphasis when you get older.

I do not put pressure on myself to try and win, so when I do win I enjoy it more.

I have not set myself any targets this year but I have it in the back of my mind that I want to be in the world's top 16 at 50.

So it is a long-term job I have in mind.

I need to make sure I am physically capable of withstanding the pressure as I get older.

I am going to get myself relatively fit - perhaps run a half marathon in the summer - and see if I can hold back the years.

Without a snooker table and snooker balls my life would fall apart

I won't bash my life out practising because I don't need to - it is like riding a bike.

But I could not survive without the game - without a snooker table and snooker balls, I would fall apart!

And I am still driven to play because the competition is so exciting.

The public like a trier and it is quite nice for me now.

I actually get a few cheers of "come on" from the crowd.

O'Sullivan denies Davis
25 Jan 04  |  Snooker

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