Steve Davis cruises into WPC final 32

Steve Davis

Perennial CIA favourite Steve Davis is through to the last 32 of the 2003 World Pool Championship after dashing the hopes of Delhi-based Mukesh Rehani in the main arena tonight. Davis, who's track record here is good, won 9 - 3 after getting off to a flyer.

Rehani, a 41 year-old snooker club owner, had surprised the field by making it through the group stages over the first four days, but was a massive underdog against the six times World Snooker Champion.

Steve won the lag and raced into 3 - 0 lead before a mistake gave Mukesh the chance to open his account. However, the Indian was a little too careless and against a cueman of Steve's calibre, that can be fatal.

Davis then went to 5 - 1, before Rehani took his second rack but at 8 - 3 the gulf was too much. Steve now faces former WPC foe Kunihiko Takahashi of Japan, a winner of this event in 1998. The pair met in a last 16 match in 2000 when Davis came out an 11 - 6 winner.

Davis spoke after the match and was self-critical despite his win; "Five years ago I was the underdog, but I'm now supposed to beat players which puts a little more pressure on.

"I made mistakes though and my break is inconsistent but if I practiced it from here to eternity, would it get any better? I got off to a good start this evening but got punished for my mistakes.

"I understand Mukesh is a great billiard player and you could see it in his action but I think he was a little short on 9-ball experience. I hope he has had a good time here because for him to reach the knock-out stages was a great achievement.

"Looking at my next game, you have to say that anyone from the Far East is going to be a fair player and Takahashi has come on strong over the past few games.

"Beyond that, you have to look to the likes of Reyes, Bustamante and Strickland to be there at the end. I really enjoyed watching Earl tonight, though, because the crowd love him here. He is so entertaining!"

Davis now goes to 33 / 1 outright for the Championship.

Last 64 Results

Alex Pagulayan (Can) 9 - 5 Shintaro Sugaya (Jap)
Rodney Morris (USA) 9 - 8 Fabio Petroni (Ita)
Kun-Fung Lee (Tpe) 9 - 6 Hiroshi Takenaka (Jap)
Ramil Gallego (Phi) 9 - 4 Evgeny Stalev (Rus)
Sin-Young Park (Kor) 9 - 6 Chris Melling (Eng)
Niels Feijen (Hol) 9 - 4 Geoff Dunn (Sco)
Che-Wei Fu (Tpe) 9 - 7 Jorge Llanos (Arg)
Alex Lely (Ned) 9 - 8 Satoshi Kawabata (Jap)
Marcus Chamat (Swe) 9 - 7 Pascal Budo (Bel)
Jang-Su Lee (Kor) 9 - 2 Cory Deuel (USA)
Max Eberle (USA) 9 - 8 Dennis Orcollo (Phi)
Hui-Kai Hsia (Tpe) 9 - 0 Mark Williams (Wal)
Danny Harriman (USA) 9 - 6 Ying-Chieh Chen (Tpe)
Tony Drago (Mal) 9 - 4 Vangelis Vettas (Gre)
Young-Hwa Jeongn (Kor) 9 - 3 Tiong-Boon Tan (Sin)
Marlon Manalo (Phi) 9 - 4 Ernesto Dominguez (Mex)
Ralf Souquet (Ger) 9 - 6 Raymond Cruz (Can)
Ching-Shun Yang (Tpe) 9 - 4 Akikumo Toshikawa (Jap)
Mika Immonen (Fin) 9 - 3 Steve Knight (Eng)
Niclas Bergendorff (Swe) 9 - 1 Hui-Chan Lu (Tpe)
Haruyoshi Hinokiyama (Jap) 9 - 8 Antonio Lining (Phi)
Earl Strickland (USA) 9 - 3 Thomas Engert (Ger)
Kunihiko Takahashi (Jap) 9 - 4 Roxton Chapman (Eng)
Steve Davis (Eng) 9 - 3 Mukesh Rehani (Ind)
Thorsten Hohmann (Ger) 9 - 6 John Horsfall (Can)
Teddy Garrahan (USA) 9 - 8 Rico Diks (Ned)
Marc Holtz (Lux) 9 - 3 Warren Kiamco (Phi)
Luc Salvas (Can) 9 - 8 Tommy Donlon (Ire)
Lee Vann Corteza (Phi) 9 - 2 Sten Jarledal (Swe)
Francisco Bustamante (Phi) 9 - 2 Oliver Ortmann (Ger)
Nick van den Berg (Ned) 9 - 0 Kevin Smith (Eng)
Efren Reyes (Phi) 9 - 5 Johnny Archer (USA)

Winners advance to last 64, losers received US$1,500.

Photo courtesy of Matchroom Sport