Joe Johnson had not experienced much success in his year as world champion as the numerous off-table demands ate away at his practice time.
Davis was back to his best
On his return to The Crucible, many expected him to lose in the first round.
In the event he only beat Eugene Hughes 10-9.
But a 13-7 victory over Murdo Macleod, who had become the first Scot to win a match at The Crucible in defeating Rex Williams, restored a measure of confidence to his season.
He led Stephen Hendry, prodigiously talented but inconsistent, 12-8 in the quarter-finals and maintained his composure to win 13-12 after the Scottish teenager had given a preview of his 1990s excellence by levelling.
In the semi-finals, Johnson defeated Neal Foulds 16-9 and faced Davis again.
Davis, determined not to suffer three successive world final defeats, led 14-10 after three sessions but hopes of an astounding Johnson double were raised when this was cut to 14-13.
Davis did, however, hold himself together sufficiently to lead 15-13 and victory arrived at 18-14.
After two disappointing years at The Crucible, the king was back on his throne.