The 41-year-old, from St Leonards, lost a final-frame shootout against defending champion Mark Selby having mounted a remarkable comeback from 4-0 down to level proceedings at 5-5.
Davis fired in breaks of 80 and 136 as he came back from 5-2 with three on the spin to level things up on the opening day of the Masters at Alexandra Palace in London.
But in a final frame that was a heavy safety battle, Davis never really got a chance as world No.2 Selby ground down his opponent to progress to the quarter-finals.
The defeat means that the wait for a first win at the Masters goes on for Davis after three trips to Alexandra Palace, not that the right-hander was too downhearted.
“There are loads of positives,” he said. “I had not done that much wrong to be 4-0 down, I came back but it was not to be in that last frame. I’m proud of myself for the way I came back. Even at 4-0 down I thought I could do a bit of damage in the match because I hadn’t done much wrong.
“I never felt I had a really good chance in the decider. It wasn’t the sort of frame I wanted. But I have played really well there and for me it is a case of carrying on.”
While Davis was certainly the heavier scorer, Selby more often than not came out on top in the safety exchanges, a deficit that the St Leonards potter admits he will have to work hard to make up.
“I played pretty good but my safety was maybe a little bit loose,” he added. “And you can’t afford to do that against someone like Mark, he’s too good a player to keep giving chances to.
“And in that final frame Mark showed why he is where he is, I did not really get a good chance which is all you want in a decider. That’s all it comes down to in the end and it just was not to be.”
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