UK Championship: Mark Davis not 'under pressure' to win title

By Owen PhillipsBBC Sport at the York Barbican
Mark Davis
Mark Davis will play three-time runner-up Ken Doherty in the second round

Mark Davis is not putting pressure on himself to win a first ranking event title after cruising to the second round of the UK Championship.

The 43-year-old world number 20 beat Rhys Clark 6-1 to set up a second-round meeting with Ken Doherty on Saturday.

Davis, who turned professional in 1991, said: "I would love to win a ranking tournament before I retire.

"But if I don't it will be because I haven't been good enough. I don't feel under pressure."

Sussex cueman Davis has six career titles to his name, but his best ranking tournament performance has been reaching the semi-finals on four occasions - including the 2013 UK Championship.

Davis was relieved to get through his first-round meeting at this year's event and progress to the televised stages of the sport's second biggest tournament.

"I was obviously a strong favourite to win but it doesn't mean anything," he said.

"I was in a tournament in Hong Kong last week and didn't get back until Sunday morning so I was a bit shattered. I knew it probably wouldn't be pretty, it was just a case of winning.

"These guys can all play and if you are off your game it can go against you. You have to be professional, get the job done and I did that. I missed too many balls but I don't really care; it was just a case of winning."

And he is relishing the chance to face Doherty, the 1997 world champion and current world number 47.

"It should be a good game," added Davis. "Ken has done so much in the game. I will have to play well. He is still getting results now.

"His peak years were a few years back but on any given day he can still play some really good snooker. I don't take anyone for granted, and certainly not Ken."