The 43-year-old Glaswegian, who prior to this year hadn’t won a match at the Crucible for nine years, beat former world champion Doherty to reach the quarter-finals.
World No 35 McManus looked on course to wrap up victory in style at 10-3 up, but was to eventually edge over the line after winning just three of the last eight frames to take the tie 13-8.
However, win or lose at the Crucible, McManus is making sure he relishes every last second of his World Championship run by scrawling out reminders to take with him into the famous arena.
“I’ve been writing down little phrases and taking them out there, which no one obviously knows about,” he said. “They say a couple of technical things but at the end of it the last couple of words are ‘enjoy it’.
“There are a lot worse things going on in the world than me or anyone else losing a snooker match and it’s easy to forget that sometimes. You only need to look at the TV for about an hour, there’s some not so pretty things going on.
“You never know how many times you’re going to be back here and none of us know how many times we’re going to do anything, so I’m pretty philosophical as I get older. You can but you can’t [believe it], you always want to be in it but I’m still winning some matches and beating top players now and again. Especially when I get to a TV table, I feel a lot more comfortable – I’ve always been that way.”
McManus’ next test in Sheffield will come against Mark Selby, whom he meets in the quarter-finals, starting tomorrow. Selby is a three-time Masters champion and the world No 3, and has appeared in four ranking tournament finals this season – yet McManus insists he revels in playing the headliners.
“When I get my chances I’m going to have to really take them because Mark’s so used to the big stage now,” he added.
“He’s playing not quite at the top of his game like when he was winning Masters two or three years ago, but he’s one of the premier players – one of the top three of four. But I like playing the big names and I always have done, that’s part of the enjoyment. It’s a three-session match so I’m going to play three little matches and see where it takes me.”
• British Eurosport is the Home of Snooker, showing 19 tournaments per season including the World Championship, UK Championship, the Masters and all other ranking events. Available on Sky, Virgin Media & BT TV or online/mobile via eurosportplayer.com #eurosportsnooker