In a revealing interview with Ronnie O'Sullivan, Davis said that he coped badly with Hendry's emergence as the game's leading player and "didn't even want to acknowledge he existed".
Davis said his 16-15 loss to Hendry in the 1990 UK Championship final marked the moment he lost his status as snooker's top dog, telling Ronnie:
"One minute I had all the sweets locked up in my own little sweet jar, the next minute they were spilled on the floor and Stephen had them all.
"For most of the 90’s I didn’t like him at all, hated him, hated the thought that he was better than me, I didn’t even want to acknowledge he existed. So the fact he beat me in that match look back, it was a big turning point. But that is your own personal problems, dealing with something like that.
"I think Stephen dealt with the likes of you (Ronnie) and John Higgins coming along than I did with him. He was quite philosophical about the fact that one day he wouldn’t be the best.
"Losing to Dennis Taylor (in the 1985 World Championship final) was a shock and it was awful, but I could get over it because I knew that I was better than him.
"Hendry played a stronger, more aggressive game that I had not grown up with and I didn’t know how to teach myself new tricks. My problem was ‘how do I cope with this new player playing this new aggressive game when all of my career I was able to wait for people to make mistakes?'"
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