Date of Birth: 12 August 1972
Nickname: The Battler From Hastings, Dark Mavis
Highest Ranking: 12
Highest Break: 143
Mark Davis is an English professional snooker player from St. Leonards in Sussex, England. Davis became professional in 1991 but for many years was considered something of a journeyman; however, he vastly improved his game in the late 2000s, and as a result managed to get in the top 16 for the first time in 2012.
The highlights of his career so far have been winning the Benson & Hedges Championship in 2002 (earning him an appearance at the Masters), and the six-red snooker world championships three times (in 2009, 2012 and 2013).
Davis came close to losing his Main Tour status in the late 1990s, but recovered in the early 2000s to return to the top 48. Reaching the quarter-finals of the 2001 Regal Scottish tournament, his second career quarter-final, was the main catalyst for this. His success in reaching the 2008 World Championship came after 2 poor seasons, leaving him at No. 58 in the rankings.
He opened the 2008/2009 season strongly by qualifying for the 2008 Northern Ireland Trophy and defeating local hope Joe Swail 5–4 in the first round, before beating Ding Junhui 5–4 in the last 32 in one of the best wins of his career. He was beaten in the last 16 5–2 by Ali Carter. He followed this up by also qualifying for the Bahrain and UK Championships, though he was forced to pull out early in his last-32 match against Joe Perry in the latter, due to a stomach upset.
He exceeded his 2007/2008 ranking points total after only five of the eight events of the 2008/2009 season. In 2009 Davis won the Six-Red World Championship. In 2010, Davis reached the second round of the World Championship for the first time in 15 years by defeating sixth seed Ryan Day.
Davis has compiled 100 competitive centuries in his career up to September 2010, putting him 35th in the top of the players reaching a century of centuries in a career.
He got his career best tournamant break of 143 in the China Open on 29 March 2010, the 93rd century of his career, in a wild-card round match against Tian Pengfei. After an excellent 2009/2010 season, he reached the top 32 of the players and also claim his highest rank, by being ranked 26th.
He also qualified for the 2010 Shanghai Masters event where he reached the last-eight beating Marco Fu and Stephen Maguire on the way before surrendering a 4–1 lead against Jamie Burnett and going out 5–4. However, his strong performances continued and took him to a career high ranking of 18.
Davis qualified for all but two of the ranking events in the 2011/2012 season. He could only advance beyond the first round in the Australian Goldfields Open, where he lost 3–5 to Mark Selby in the last 16. Davis played in all 12 of the minor-ranking Players Tour Championship events during the season, reaching the final of Event 4, where he lost to Selby 0–4.
This result was a large contributory factor to Davis finishing 16th on the PTC Order of Merit, inside the top 24 who made the Finals. At the Finals he beat Tom Ford, before losing to Stephen Maguire in the last 16. Davis’ season came to an end when he suffered a heavy 2–10 loss, while feeling unwell, in the World Championship to Ali Carter. He finished the season ranked world number 19, with the elite top 16 places still eluding him.
Davis started the 2012/2013 season very successfully by reaching the first ranking event semi-final of his 21-year professional career at the Wuxi Classic. His run included wins over local favourite Ding Junhui, Jamie Burnett and Graeme Dott to set up a last 4 clash with Stuart Bingham who had won the previous week’s Asian PTC.
He trailed 0–4 at the mid-session interval, before coming back to play inspired snooker to lead 5–4 in the best of 11 frames match. However, Bingham then levelled the contest before compiling a 134 break to win the decider and end Davis’ hopes of a first ranking final. At the Six-red World Championship he claimed the title by defeating Shaun Murphy 8–4 in the final.
The winner’s cheque of £40,000 is the biggest of his career to date. In the Australian Goldfields Open Davis saw off Jack Lisowski (5–2), home favourite Neil Robertson (5–1) and Martin Gould (5–2), to reach his second successive ranking semi-final. There he played close friend Barry Hawkins and was beaten 4–6.
At the UK Championship he beat Cao Yupeng 6–1 in the first round and led three-time champion John Higgins 5–2 in the second round, before withstanding a fightback from Higgins which included a 147, to win a decider. Davis saw off Matthew Stevens 6–4 in the quarter-finals, however his lack of experience on the big stage showed in his semi-final against Mark Selby, as he was beaten 4–9.
Davis qualified for the 2013 Masters tournament thanks to his form earning him a place in the top 16. At his first outing in the tournament for 13 years he faced world number nine Mark Allen in the first round and lost 2–6. This began a dip in form for Davis as he lost in the qualifying round of the Welsh Open, the first round of both the World Open and Players Tour Championship Finals and in the second round of the China Open.
However, he was still ranked 16 in the world at the cut-off for the 2013 World Championship, but was forced to qualify due to world number 28 and reigning champion Ronnie O’Sullivan deciding to defend his title after taking a year away from professional snooker. O’Sullivan was therefore the number one seed, meaning Davis dropped out of the top 16 who were guaranteed a spot in the event. Davis beat Liang Wenbo 10–6 in qualifying.
He faced four-time champion John Higgins in the first round and claimed the best win of his career by winning 10–6 and played Stuart Bingham in the last 16. The match proved to be very tight, but from 10–10 Bingham pulled away to win 13–10 with Davis saying afterwards that he had done well to win 10 frames such was his disappointment at the way he had performed. However, he finished the season inside the top 16 for the very first time, at world number 13.
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