World Snooker Championship: John Higgins suffers shock defeat to Mark Davis
Last Updated: 22/04/13 11:18pm
John Higgins: Early exit at the Crucible
Four-time winner John Higgins crashed out of the World Championship at the first round stage following a 10-6 defeat to Mark Davis.
Sussex potter Davis turned an overnight 6-3 lead into a 10-6 victory over the man who triumphed at the Crucible in 1998, 2007, 2009 and 2011.
When they played at the UK Championship in December, Higgins made a 147 maximum break but still lost the match. But there was no such spark this time, with Higgins' performance flat.
World number seven Higgins, 37, was finished off by a brilliant break of 87 as 40-year-old Davis reached the second round for the third time in his career.
A despondent Higgins said afterwards: "I thought maybe at the start of the season I'd go on to better things but it's been pretty similar to last year.
"It's disappointing. It's just tough out there. Mark has punished me for every shot that I missed and I did miss a couple of easy balls."
He added: "I certainly was trying my hardest to the bitter end. If you lose that you'd be as well to pack it in."
Davis said: "It's definitely my best win. It's nice to have beaten him before but this is a different day and a different venue. Maybe I knew I could do it.
"He did miss some balls he wouldn't normally miss. It's a bit surprising when they do it. For the majority of the match I punished him."
His respect for Higgins made the win all the more sweet, with Davis adding: "No-one rates John more highly than I do.