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Page last updated at 14:23 GMT, Saturday, 24 April 2010 15:23 UK

Legend Steve Davis stuns John Higgins in Crucible epic

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

Davis beats Higgins after thrilling frame

Veteran Steve Davis held his nerve to oust defending champion John Higgins in one of the greatest shocks ever seen at the World Snooker Championship.

The six-time champion started the day 9-7 up but Higgins levelled at 9-9, aided by his 100th Crucible century.

But the Scot missed blues in each of the next two frames to enable Davis, 52, to restore his two-frame advantage.

Breaks of 59 and 56 saw Higgins draw level again but Davis won the next two frames to clinch a famous 13-11 win.

Coming 25 years after his defeat by Dennis Taylor in the sport's most famous final, and 21 years since the last of his six world crowns, Davis's victory is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, shocks in the 33 years the Crucible has hosted snooker's showpiece event.

606: DEBATE
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And the veteran said he thought his performance was among the very best of his career.

"Obviously winning the event is massive but in terms of individual performances and pride of performance it's got to be so much up there," he said.

"It's probably second only to beating Ronnie O'Sullivan in the final of the Masters [in 1997, his last major tournament win] when 8-4 behind, but to do it at the Crucible may make it maybe even a bit higher, especially against John, who is such a hard, hard player.

"I always thought he was going to win the match - we've seen John pull it out of the fire so often I thought he was going to do it again.

"He didn't get going enough and kept giving me hope. I still thought he was going to get over the line, but somehow I dragged up some pots. It used up everything, I'm glad I've got a couple of days off."

Win up there with the best - Davis

Davis, the oldest quarter-finalist at The Crucible since the late Eddie Charlton, then 53, in 1983, will play Neil Robertson, who came from 11-5 down to beat Martin Gould 13-12, starting on Tuesday morning, 27 April.

It was a hugely tense final session against Higgins on Saturday as Davis dug deep to rediscover some of the form which made him the game's dominant figure two decades ago.

Their previous World Championship meeting, back in 2000, saw Higgins win 13-11, and when he levelled at 11-11 it looked as though he might go on to repeat the feat.

But, with the tension tangible in the arena, it was Davis who came through to reach the last eight for the first time since 2005.

"It's a tough one but all credit to him. I said to him afterwards he's the greatest in my eyes," said Higgins.

"I didn't play my best, I missed a few, but I certainly didn't play my worst.

"How he could hold himself together like that at the age of 52... he's the greatest in my eyes."

Higgins pays tribute to 'greatest' Davis

Higgins dominated the opening two frames and Davis did not score his first points of the day until Higgins fouled at the start of the third.

Davis then reached 37 before missing a difficult red, and it looked set to be a costly mistake before Higgins fluffed the blue to the middle.

Rather than Higgins moving into the lead for the first time in the match, Davis calmly put away 46 points to edge 10-9 in front.

The veteran gunned in a 49 break in the 20th frame but although he missed a routine red, Higgins once again missed a blue and Davis wrapped up the frame to make it 11-9 at the interval.

Higgins came out the stronger and a pair of half-century breaks saw him level matters once again.

But Davis, who is making his 30th appearance at the tournament, was in no mood to concede and a break of 35 in the penultimate frame, saw him edge ahead once more.

Higgins managed a break of 42 in the 24th frame but could not land the decisive blow.

He missed a straight red into the middle and Davis, helped by an earlier run of 34, doubled the brown into the same pocket before sinking blue and pink to close out a victory that was rapturously received by the fans.

Steve Davis

Amazing Davis double helps to end Higgins' reign

The double may rank among the finest shots of his career, and Davis said "these types of shots are judgement shots, you either get them or you don't.

"Against players like John Higgins you don't get many chances and you've got to take them.

"There were a couple of shots earlier in the session where I regretted not going for the ball. You never know, you may not get a better chance.

"I think the best players do become quite aggressive animals towards the end of the frame."

In the other game on Saturday morning, 2006 champion Graeme Dott stretched his commanding lead to 12-4 over world number two Stephen Maguire, needing just frame for victory when they resume on Saturday evening.



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see also
Dott defeats fellow Scot Maguire
24 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Davis plays down Crucible chances
24 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Robertson comeback denies Gould
24 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Final scores from the Crucible
20 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Davis leads Higgins at Crucible
22 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Ebdon hits out at Hearn proposals
22 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Ebdon drops out of world's top 16
22 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Evans invited to play against men
21 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Frustrated Day bemoans poor year
22 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Davis defeats King in final frame
21 Apr 10 |  Snooker
O'Sullivan through despite wobble
20 Apr 10 |  Snooker
Ask the experts
29 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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