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Davis Still In Masters Race

Mark DavisMark Davis has one eye on a place at January’s Masters at Alexandra Palace in London, but needs a deep run at the Betway UK Championship (Josh Robinson writes).

Davis beat Ken Doherty 6-3 to reach the last 32 in York yesterday and is just a few places outside the top 16 on the projected seedings list, with the cut-off for the Masters to fall after this tournament.

Davis, who has been a professional for 24 years, would have to usurp a few fellow players to gain a place at snooker’s most prestigious invitation event, indeed he may need to reach at least the semi-finals in York to have a chance.

Michael White’s first round defeat against Sydney Wilson has left him vulnerable in 15th with £171,883. Stephen Maguire sits in 16th position on £166,358 after surviving a tough opening test against Jimmy White.

A second-round win over Jamie Cope for the Scot would set up a match with Davis that could go some way to deciding who receives the final invites to London.

Davis said: “With the Masters coming up it’s a bit of added motivation but this is such a big tournament that I don’t really need any. I try 100 per cent in every match I play anyway, whether it is the UK, World or a PTC. I always try my best.

“It’s a two-year list. I’ve had plenty of time to get in there. If I don’t now I just haven’t done enough. In hindsight, I should be a lot closer but I’m not so I deal with that and move on.”

The 43-year-old, a semi-finalist in York in 2012, added: “My form’s been a bit up and down this season, a little inconsistent. There’s still a few things I need to iron out before the next match but the game’s there, it’s been there for years, it’s just bringing it out. I’ve got to go out there and do it.

“I’ve got the Championship League at some point in January but if I don’t get in the Masters I might have a longer break than I usually would. I’ll do a bit more running as I’m doing a Half-Marathon next year.”