Mark Davis Stuns World Champion Luca Brecel in International Championship Upset

Mark Davis: Source: Getty Images

In a surprising turn of events, Mark Davis, ranked 64th in the world, managed to defeat World Champion Luca Brecel with a score of 6-3, securing his spot in the last 32 of the International Championship in Tianjin. This victory holds great significance for the Englishman, as he had faced a heartbreaking loss in the final round of World Championship qualifying last season to his close friend Joe Perry, with a narrow score of 10-9. This loss had seemingly jeopardized Davis’s professional status, until he received a reprieve due to his 68th position in the rankings, which prompted an independent tribunal to consider his case.

As a result of his recent win, Davis now advances to face China’s Pang Junxu in the last 32, who narrowly defeated his compatriot Fan Zhengyi with a score of 6-5. Unfortunately for Brecel, this loss means his aspirations of becoming the world number one this week have come to an end.

The match started as a dream for Davis, as he surged to a 4-0 lead at the mid-session interval. During this dominant display, the Hastings cueman compiled breaks of 51, 76, and 64, securing all frames. Davis had a chance to move even closer to victory in the fifth frame, but a missed red allowed Brecel to secure his first frame of the match. Brecel, the world number two, then fought back with breaks of 87 and 94, reducing the gap to 4-3.

While momentum seemed to shift towards Brecel, Davis managed to turn the tide and displayed his skill with contributions of 59 and 107, securing two consecutive frames and clinching a memorable victory.

After the match, Davis expressed his joy, stating, “It feels brilliant. I’ve certainly not had many wins over the last two or three seasons against players with the calibre of Luca. I really enjoyed it. When I play World Champions, I try to enjoy it more because I’m coming towards the end of my career.” He also acknowledged that he should have extended his lead further but managed to stay focused and composed during the match.

In other tournament news, current world number one Ronnie O’Sullivan advanced with a 6-3 win over Mark Joyce, while Judd Trump continued his impressive form, securing a 6-0 victory against Michael White. Teenage tour rookie Liam Pullen achieved a significant win by defeating Thai number one Noppon Saengkham with a score of 6-5.

Several other matches took place, with notable results including Zhou Yuelong’s 6-0 win against Anthony Hamilton, Zhang Anda’s 6-3 victory over Mark Williams, and Shaun Murphy’s 6-3 loss to Dominic Dale. Neil Robertson, on the other hand, continued to struggle with a 6-1 defeat at the hands of Daniel Wells.

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