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Page last updated at 23:53 GMT, Monday, 30 November 2009

Steve Davis books UK clash with Stephen Hendry

Pukka Pies UK Snooker Championship
Venue: Telford International Centre Dates: Sat 5 Dec to Sun 13 Dec Coverage: Live on BBC Two, BBC Red Button and BBC Sport website.

Steve Davis
Davis has won more UK titles than any other player

Steve Davis came through final qualifying for the UK Championship starting on Saturday to set up a first-round match with Stephen Hendry.

Davis, who has won a record six UK titles, beat Irishman Michael Judge 9-7 to progress to the televised stages.

Matthew Stevens, the 2003 UK champion, thrashed Adrian Gunnell 9-1 to earn a date with world number one Ronnie O'Sullivan next Monday, 7 December.

Ricky Walden faces world champion John Higgins after beating Andrew Higginson.

Davis led 5-3 and 8-4 before Judge closed to within a frame, only for the 52-year-old legend to close out the match with a break of 66.

His reunion with Hendry will revive memories of a series of epic tussles between the game's two most successful players.

Hendry beat Davis in the 1989 and 1990 UK finals, the first two of the Scot's five titles, while Davis beat Hendry for the first time in nine years in the 2005 UK semi-finals.


"It will be fantastic to play Stephen - he's bashed me up all over the place over the years," Davis said. "There will be a bit of nostalgia. If I play like I did today I will be happy."

Welshman Stevens was also in inspired form as he boosted his hopes of a return to the elite top 16 with his rout of Gunnell.

His meeting with O'Sullivan, who will be aiming for a fifth title at snooker's second biggest ranking event after previous triumphs in 1993, 1997, 2001 and 2007, will be one of the highlights of the first round in Telford.

"Ronnie is a great draw for me because I've got nothing to lose and everything to gain," Stevens said.

"I've been playing well and I know I can beat him. I wouldn't be playing if I didn't think I could still win tournaments."

Other qualifiers for the televised stages in Telford include Jamie Cope, who beat Ken Doherty 9-6, and Judd Trump, who overcame Mark Davis 9-7.

Cope will play Mark Selby while Trump will face Peter Ebdon.

Defending champion Shaun Murphy, who beat Marco Fu 10-9 in a dramatic final last year, opens the defence of his title against Gerard Greene.

See Murphy fluke pink to win UK crown

Archive - Murphy flukes pink to seal 2008 UK crown (UK users only)

UK Championship first-round draw:

Shaun Murphy v Gerard Greene
Ding Junhui v Mike Dunn
Mark Allen v Stephen Lee
Ali Carter v Rory McLeod
Marco Fu v Peter Lines
Mark Williams v Graeme Dott
Joe Perry v Stuart Bingham
Stephen Maguire v Michael Holt
Ronnie O'Sullivan v Matthew Stevens
Peter Ebdon v Judd Trump
Stephen Hendry v Steve Davis
Mark Selby v Jamie Cope
Ryan Day v Liang Wenbo
Mark King v Anthony Hamilton
Neil Robertson v Tom Ford
John Higgins v Ricky Walden

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see also
UK Championship 2009 - full results
05 Dec 09 |  Snooker
Snooker world tour plan unveiled
26 Nov 09 |  Snooker
UK Championship gets Pukka deal
12 Nov 09 |  Snooker
Telford retains UK Championship
22 Jun 09 |  Snooker
Murphy defeats Fu to clinch title
22 Dec 08 |  Snooker
Snooker on the BBC
08 Apr 11 |  Snooker

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