Mark Davis admits he rues not taking advantage of his early dominance after exiting the World Snooker Championship at the first round stage in Sheffield.
The St Leonards cueman led 4-0 against Ding Junhui before the Chinese superstar roared back to 5-5 and eventually triumphed 10-7 yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon.
Leading 4-3 overnight, Davis extended that to 5-3 by making a 106 break in frame eight – amazingly, his first century in 10 Crucible Theatre appearances.
Ding then played up for the blue while on 97 in the next – not realising he was on course for a maximum break – but that spurred him on to win six of the next eight frames and book a second round clash with John Higgins.
But Davis believes the damage was done in Monday’s first session. “4-0 was a good lead to start with, but I probably didn’t take advantage when Ding was struggling,” explained the world no.18.
“Even though he started scoring better in the last three frames yesterday, I still had chances in most frames, so to only be 4-3 up was disappointing.
“My safety wasn’t tight enough all match and I didn’t score heavily enough either. I kept running out of position and failing to win games in one visit which you can’t afford to do against these guys.”
Defeat means Davis’ season is now at an end and the 42-year-old fears time is fast running out for him to claim a maiden major title.
“I wanted to win a tournament this year and it hasn’t happened which is disappointing – I don’t know how many more chances I am going to get to win one,” added Davis.
“I’ve been pretty consistent, but nothing spectacular, as usual. Compared to the majority of my career it’s a lot better, but when you keep getting to quarter-finals, you want to push on.
I kept running out of position and failing to win games in one visit which you can’t afford to do against these guys.Mark Davis
“It can get you down a little bit – I’ll work on a few bits of my game and maybe next year I can get over the line. You need the ‘B’ game to beat the big guys when you’re not at your best and at the moment I haven’t got that.”
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