Davis goes back to basics

Steve Davis may have six world titles and countless other tournament victories on his CV but he still hasn’t given up trying to improve his game according to the Eurosport website.

He is quoted as saying:

“I noticed I wasn’t striking the ball in the centre,” Davis said. “I was favouring cueing on one side and it was affecting my alignment.

“It’s all weird. All the shots seem different. I didn’t expect results overnight. I expected to struggle and miss the balls by miles but actually I didn’t pot too badly.

“I was trying to play quite basically so any win is a good win. I’m not going to criticise myself. I got through.”

For a man starting what I believe to be his 30th season as a professional to come out and indicate that he is working on his game in such a fundamental way is remarkable really, particularly given what he has achieved in the game. Having slipped out of the top 16 again at the age of 51 and with a full-time career as an analyst with the BBC waiting for him, some might have expected Davis to slip quietly into the background and concentrate on other activities now.

That would be to underestimate Steve’s love of the competition, or perhaps more to the point the game of snooker full stop however. Anyone who has remained at the top of the game for as long as he has won’t want to go down without a fight and it is good to see that he is still seeking to improve his level even now.

Make no mistake, he may have tried to downplay his win against Gerard Greene in the Shanghai Masters qualifiers but Greene is a very dangerous player to face at that stage and any kind of win for Steve was always going to be a good one. His reward in Shanghai will be a tie with Dominic Dale in the last 32 in what could be a close match. Dale, who is entering the event as defending champion, is in good form having pushed Mark Allen all the way in Northern Ireland and will fancy his of chances of making it to the last 16 again. One thing that is certain however is that Davis will do his utmost to stop that from happening.