Snooker: Davis wins Masters

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The Independent Online
Steve Davis lifted the roof at Wembley Conference Centre as he produced a vintage performance to end 25 months in the snooker wilderness.

The game's king of the 1980's without a title since the Regal Welsh Open of January 1995, transformed an 8-4 deficit into a 10-8 victory over Ronnie O'Sullivan to lift the Benson and Hedges Masters gold trophy for the third time.

By bringing the curtain down on the most frustrating spell of his career, Davis earned a bumper pounds 135,000 - easily the biggest cheque he has pocketed since turning professional in 1979. That surpassed the pounds 105,000 collected by the 39-year-old Romford veteran when he became World Champion for the sixth and last time in 1989.

"This has got to go down as one of my best ever displays," declared an overjoyed Davis, who slipped from second to 10th in the world rankings last season.

"I won my first world championship in 1981 but this is an entirely different era. The players these days are mostly new faces and are better than the old ones."

Davis, appearing in the 98th final of his career, tied the scores by taking the last frame of the first session, but, when play resumed, O'Sullivan was quickly into his stride as he regained the advantage at 5-4 with a 96 break.

That opened the floodgates as O'Sullivan sped through the next three frames in less than 40 minutes.

Then Davis turned and with O'Sullivan suddenly careless and prone to mistakes, Davis rallied to 6-8 before claiming frame 15 in style with a 130 clearance as lucrative as it was positionally flawless and just kept rolling.

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