Steve Davis to face Ronnie O'Sullivan at UK Championship

UK Championship

Venue:
Barbican Centre, York
Date:
3-11 December
Coverage:
Live on BBC television, Red Button and online
Steve Davis plays a shot with the rest during the 2010 World Championship
Davis has won the UK Championship a record six times

Steve Davis will face Ronnie O'Sullivan at next month's UK Championship after coming through final qualifying.

The 54-year-old six-time world champion beat world number 18 Andrew Higginson 6-2 to clinch his place in the event, which starts on 3 December.

Former world champion Stephen Hendry has also secured his place in the televised stages after beating Gerard Greene by the same scoreline.

Hendry will face world number nine Stephen Maguire in York.

The seven-time world champion had to qualify after dropping out of the elite top 16 earlier this year for the first time since 1988.

"Playing in the qualifiers is a different kind of pressure for me, but my position in the rankings is self-inflicted and that's why I'm here," said the Scot, who won the UK title five times between 1989 and 1996.

"I'm not used to it and I want to get back into the top 16 as soon as possible. I just tried to concentrate on the match today and put in as much effort as I could.

"I played solid snooker, nothing special apart from the break to go 5-2 up which was one of the best I've ever made.

"It's a very good result and I'm delighted to get through. The UK Championship is a massive tournament, and although I'll be there working for the BBC, to go there without being in the draw would have been very hard."

Davis will also put his commentary duties on hold for at least the opening weekend in York, as he looks forward to a date with O'Sullivan on Sunday, 4 December.

"You can't ask for more than a match against Ronnie at the UK," said the six-time UK champion. "It's what we play for. Plus it gives me a day when I don't have to sit next to John Parrott!"

Former UK champion Jimmy White, now 54th in the world rankings, failed to make it through qualifying.

The 1992 winner, who beat Passakorn Suwannawat 6-2 in his first qualifier, lost 6-5 to 23-year-old Welshman Jamie Jones in his second match.

Jones lost 6-3 to Ricky Walden in the final round; Walden will go to play Stephen Lee in York.

Another former UK champion, Peter Ebdon, also failed to negotiate the final qualifying round, losing 6-3 against Robert Milkins.

The 1997 world champion, Ken Doherty, also missed out on the main event, losing 6-5 to Peter Lines.

The UK Championship, snooker's second biggest tournament after the World Championship, returns this year to York's Barbican Centre following a five-year absence, during which it was held in Telford.

John Higgins will defend his title when the televised stages, live on the BBC, start on 3 December. The Scot pipped Mark Williams in an epic final 12 months ago.

Draw for UK Championship:

John Higgins (Sco) v Rory McLeod (Eng)

Stephen Maguire (Sco) v Stephen Hendry (Sco)

Ronnie O'Sullivan (Eng) v Steve Davis (Eng)

Judd Trump (Eng) v Dominic Dale (Wal)

Ding Junhui (Chn) v Mark Davis (Eng)

Matthew Stevens (Wal) v Marcus Campbell (Sco)

Graeme Dott (Sco) v Matthew Selt (Eng)

Neil Robertson (Aus) v Tom Ford (Eng)

Mark Williams (Wal) v Joe Jogia (Eng)

Stephen Lee (Eng) v Ricky Walden (Eng)

Martin Gould (Eng) v Peter Lines (Eng)

Shaun Murphy (Eng) v Li Yan (Chn)

Ali Carter (Eng) v Robert Milkins (Eng)

Mark Allen (NI) v Adrian Gunnell (Eng)

Stuart Bingham (Eng) v Marco Fu (HK)

Mark Selby (Eng) v Ryan Day (Wal)

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