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Paul Davison to face Allan Taylor Shanghai Masters first round
A DRAMA-FREE qualification is what snooker star Paul Davison is seeking when he resumes battle today.
The world number 72 takes on lowly-ranked Allan Taylor in the first round of the Shanghai Masters at the Doncaster Dome bidding to carry on the run of form which has already seen him reach the final stages of the Australian Open.
Davison lost a heart-breaker in the last 32 down under, 5-4 to Mark Davis, as the world number 16 fought back from needing a snooker to stay in the competition.
But the 41-year-old Pickering professional took heart from his performance in that event, which saw him hit two centuries and a 61 break.
What he does not want, however, is a repeat of the journey which saw him arrive for his match at the Rotterdam Open last month with only five minutes to spare.
A cancelled flight, a missed connection and an early start, plus a frantic train ride, got him to the venue just in the nick of time, but he lost 4-2 to Robbie Williams.
Now, with four matches to negotiate if he is to travel to the Far East, Davison wants his heavy practice routine to come into its own.
“I was happy to go all the way to Australia and play as I did,” he reflected on the Davis defeat. “It was disappointing to lose because I outplayed him in pretty much every department and it was a bit of a mystery how I didn’t win the match.
“I’ve scored pretty well up to now and if I played like that every time I would win three or four events a year, without a doubt.”
Davison continued: “I didn’t play too badly against Robbie. I had plenty of chances and he played well. I felt very tired after the journey, I must admit.
“I tried to get a flight from Teesside, which got cancelled. The only available flight left was 8.30pm from Manchester or 9pm from Heathrow. The way you had to change trains it was quicker to get to Heathrow.
“I got the train from Darlington and the train was late getting into King’s Cross. There were hold ups on the underground and I ended up getting to Heathrow at 8.40pm and check in had closed.
“I was put in a hotel and the next available flight was 6.30am the next morning. It got me into Amsterdam at 9am and then it’s 40 minutes to an hour on a train to Rotterdam.
“The train from the airport to Rotterdam got in late, it didn’t leave until 10am so I didn’t get to the hotel until 10.40am. My room wasn’t ready.
“I got changed in a gym. I arranged for World Snooker to pick me up and got to the venue at five to 11. I was due on at 11am. I couldn’t have been in more of a rush to get there.”
On the challenge of Taylor today, Davison said he is wary of a player who is more than capable if he can get on a roll.
“He’s a good player. He practices with Stuart Bingham in Essex. He’s a fluent, quick scorer and knows what he is doing. We’ve only played once before and he beat me, so I am taking nothing for granted.”
The Pickering potter will meet Nottingham’s Anthony Hamilton if he can beat Taylor.
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