Mark Davis admits bragging rights will be on the line when he takes on Jimmy Robertson in a ‘local derby’ at the Betway UK Championship today (Sunday).
Davis, from St Leonards, and Bexhill’s Robertson are good friends and practise together at O’Sullivan's Snooker & Pool Club in Bexhill – adding extra spice to this evening’s second round clash at the York Barbican.
Davis, 44, booked his place in round two by battling past Sydney Wilson – a man ranked 77 places below him in the world at 107 – 6-3 on Thursday, making an impressive century break in frame six.
And the world number 30, six places higher than Robertson in the rankings, claims the banter will be flying both in York and back in Sussex about the match.
“Jimmy fluked his way through did he?” joked Davis upon hearing he would face Robertson in round two. “I would rather not play him, but you’ve got to do it.
“He’s a very good player, Jimmy. I know how good because I practise with him a lot.
“He is a nice lad, we play in the same club, so I know him well. I get on with most of the guys on tour, but I am more friendly with Jimmy than most – but you have to get on with it.
“He has a few nicknames, I take the mickey out of his weight a little bit, he’s a bit podgy!
“His dad owns the club (O’Sullivan's), so no-one there will want me to win – they are all on Jimmy’s side! If I win I might buy him a water or something.
“Whoever wins will be happy that one of us is in the next round, but it’s not much consolation at the time.”
For his part, Robertson cruised through the first round in York on Thursday – hammering Thor Chuan Leong 6-0.
The 30-year-old rarely looked in trouble against his Malaysian opponent, and breaks of 61 and 71 proved he is capable of scoring when among the balls.
But he acknowledges he would rather not face his good friend in round two given the choice.
“We know each other’s games inside-out but you’ve just got to get on with it,” said Robertson. “We see each other every day, so you’d definitely rather not play someone you know so well.
“We normally practise with each other all the time but either he’s been away or I’ve been away with all the travelling – and I’ve been ill a little bit – so we haven’t practised together recently.
“Then we saw the UK Championship draw and made sure not to practise with each other!”
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