SIX-TIMES world snooker champion Steve Davis’ playing career maybe over after he was relegated from the professional tour following his defeat to Craig Steadman in the World Championship Qualifiers.
Davis, who famously dominated the sport in the 1980s after turning professional in 1978, suffered a 10-8 defeat in the late hours of Thursday night which meant he ended the campaign falling short of the criteria needed to stay on tour.
Winner of 28 ranking titles, Davis failed to produce his best snooker throughout but in his usual gritty self battled back from 9-5 behind to force a close finish winning three frames in a row before Steadman managed to creep over the winning line.
The former Crucible winner can return to the main tour but only if he enters and finishes as one of the winners in the end-of-season Q School event. At the age of 56, there is no guarantee he will enter.
There also is the possibility Davis could receive a wildcard from those in control of the game at World Snooker but that remains to be seen at this moment of time.
In what was a must-win clash for both players, it was Steadman who got off to the stronger start as he won six of the opening eight frames including making a break of 122.
Despite winning the final frame of the opening session, any chance of a Davis fightback looked slim when Steadman increased his lead to 9-5.
Davis though found some belief and by winning the next frames he managed to get right back in the match. But when Davis missed a vital green to the middle pocket which was later potted by Steadman the game was all over for Davis.
The victory for Steadman kept up his hopes of reaching the Crucible in just over a week’s time. He will play Dechawat Poomjaeng in the penultimate qualifying round starting on Saturday.
Steve Davis’ Trophy Cabinet
- Six-times World Snooker Champion
- Six-times UK Championship winner
- Three-times Masters champion
- Three-times Grand Prix champion
- Eight-times Irish Masters champion
- Four-times British Open champion
- Six-times Scottish Open champion
- Six-times Classic champion