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Steve Davis beats Mark King in final-frame thriller

Date: 17 April-3 May 2010 Venue: The Crucible, Sheffield
Coverage: Live coverage each day on BBC Two, BBC Red Button and BBC Sport website (UK only), updates on BBC Radio 5 Live. Full TV schedule

Steve Davis

Veteran Davis clinches thrilling Crucible win

Steve Davis rolled back the years to beat Mark King 10-9 in a first round match lasting more than seven-and-a-half hours at the World Championship.

The 52-year-old will face reigning world champion John Higgins in the second round after edging an absorbing deciding frame on the pink.

Ding Junhui is 8-1 up against Stuart Pettman, Mark Davis leads Ryan Day 5-4 and Graeme Dott leads Peter Ebdon 7-2.

Neil Robertson started well against Fergal O'Brien, taking a 6-3 lead.

Six-time world champion Davis lost the first frame of the evening to slip 6-4 behind against King but won four frames in succession to set up the tense closing stages.

606: DEBATE
fansnooker

"Considering I haven't played much competitive snooker that was like climbing a mountain for me," said Davis.

"I played as solidly as I could even though it wasn't the greatest, but it was as solid as I've been recently, and I got over the line.

"What a feeling. The last frame was torture.

"It was good to actually win a match here at the Crucible after a few dismal performances here over the past few years, and hold myself together."

The first frame of the evening summed up the tense, scrappy nature of the contest.

Davis fluked a red along the top cushion but failed to capitalise, then missed another opportunity, while King also showed signs of nerves and missed the frame ball, before sinking a long yellow to leave Davis needing snookers.

The veteran, who won the last of his six world titles in 1989, slipped the white perfectly behind the pink but inadvertently potted the brown to signal the end of the frame.

Davis, playing in his 30th World Championship, compiled a methodical 54 to build a lead of 60 with 75 remaining in the next, before King replied with a break of 40.

But he ran out of position on the green, missed with an attempted long pot and Davis rolled in vintage long pots on green, brown, blue and pink to take the frame.

Steve Davis celebrates winning the 1987 World Championship

Interesting Times - 30 Years of Steve Davis at The Crucible

Davis then moved ahead for the first time in the match as King was unable to register a point in the following frame.

And King missed a useful opportunity in the next, slapping himself forcefully around the face in frustration, to slip two adrift.

In the 15th frame King, who protested his innocence when warned by the referee for swearing, built a 30-point advantage which he extended to 57 with only 59 on the table and he eventually secured the frame to reduce the deficit.

As the match time ticked beyond six hours Davis made a break of 44 before missing a red at full stretch into the bottom corner and left-hander King calmly rolled in a clearance of 54 to level the match again.

Davis responded with a superb 91, broken only when the final two reds did not split favourably, but King knocked in a 48 to claim a 70-point advantage which was enough to take the match to the 19th and final frame.

King had a good chance but made only 14, while Davis gained a slight advantage after a break of 27.

King needed a snooker with just the pink and black remaining but in attempting to put the balls at opposite ends of the table he potted the pink and the match ended.

Chinese 22-year-old Ding is bidding to become the first man from outside the British Isles to win snooker's biggest prize since Canada's Cliff Thorburn in 1980.

Providing he does not capitulate in the concluding session against Pettman, he will next play 2005 world champion and last year's runner-up Shaun Murphy or Gerard Greene.

At 6-0, a whitewash was looming for Pettman, and it would have been the first at the World Championship since John Parrott beat Eddie Charlton 10-0 in 1992.

But 37-year-old Pettman edged a scrappy seventh frame as Ding faltered briefly.

World number six Day has reached three quarter-finals this season but was knocked out in the first round of both the Grand Prix and UK Championship.

And at 5-3 down to the qualifier Davis with one frame to play he looked in danger of making another early exit, but managed to take the final frame of the session.

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see also
Final scores from the Crucible
20 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Gritty Williams sees off Campbell
19 Apr 10 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan warned after gesture
20 Apr 10 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan on top against Liang
19 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Rocket fires up the Crucible
20 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Hendry survives scare at Crucible
18 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Selby pleased with his play
18 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Ask the experts
29 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Higgins edges out battler Hawkins
17 Apr 10 |  Snooker
World Championship results
15 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Century breaks
17 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Snooker on the BBC
08 Apr 11 |  Snooker


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