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End of an era

Over the last three decades the World Championship of snooker has had one constant, amid the changing sea of faces: Steve Davis. The six-time world champ has been at nearly every tournament since 1979, and last year was one of the key stories, getting to the quarter finals before being knocked out by Neil Robertson, the eventual winner.

That era, it appears, is coming to an end, as Davis was given a 10-2 hammering at the qualifying stage by Stephen Lee. It’s the first time that Davis hasn’t made either of the main draws for the World or UK Championships since he turned pro in 1978, and he has also dropped out of the top 32.

Such was the crushing nature of the defeat that Davis refused to comment afterwards, suggesting that he knows that his time at the table is coming to an end.

‘It's a magnificent feeling to beat someone of Steve's class to get to the Crucible. I kept him frozen out,’ Lee said. ‘I couldn't tell you how bad I'd feel if I didn't get to the Crucible. It would have left a nasty taste after an OK season. Steve didn't really know where the table had gone when I was 6-0, 7-0 up.’

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