Steve Davis tells Ronnie: I was head and shoulders above everybody else
Snooker legend Steve Davis has admitted that, during his prime, he felt he was in a different league to the other players on tour.
In an exclusive interview with Ronnie O'Sullivan, Davis said that he was so confident in his own ability that he would go into the match knowing that he already had the edge over his opponent and could "slaughter" them if he so wished.
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See more of Ronnie's interview with Steve Davis in the next episode of the Ronnie O’Sullivan show, which airs this Tuesday at 5pm on British Eurosport 1 HD.
The UK Championships are LIVE on British Eurosport 2 HD until next Sunday.
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Having delved into Davis' career, Ronnie was keen to point out very one-sided matches, particularly in the latter stages of major tournaments and enquired as to how the six-times World Champion was able to overcome his opponents in such astonishing fasion.
"I don’t think the general standard was as high then as it is today," Davis said.
"It has improved, but, back then, I was head and shoulders, if not higher, than the rest.
"I was so superior mentally that I had an edge before it (the match) even started. People were on the back foot very quickly.
"Where I was very good, regardless of abilities, was being able to be constantly on it. So, during a match, even if I was 5-0 in front I was focusing even harder.
"One of my greatest strengths was my ability to not ease up.
"Take long distance runners as an example. Looking over his shoulder, the mind starts to wander. There can be a lack of motivation because he’s not running with somebody.
"That can be a problem for some, but perhaps the really great long distance runner can actually harden down in that position and push on even harder.
"I think that was probably where I was able to slaughter people.
"But there wasn’t anybody around of your (Ronnie O’Sullivan's) level, Stephen Hendry’s level or John Higgins’ level to challenge me.
"The players I came up against – Jimmy White, a great player, but not that consistent. As he recently said, he perhaps didn’t give it his best in the 80s – he was doing other things.
"Cliff Thorburn, Terry Griffiths; both great players. In certain ways they were very tough, but not necessarily as strong as players are today. I think I probably had the best of it. Timing is important, and I think I was in the right place at the right time.
"From that perspective, I’m not belittling what I did, but I’m putting it into context. I was in a nice situation and I took advantage of it.