Joe Perry and Neil Robertson make 19.com English Open exits
By Peter White, Sportsbeat
Joe Perry insists fine margins were all that stopped him progressing to the last 16 of the 19.com English Open.
The 45-year-old, who trains in Cambridge at WT's Sports Bar, had made solid progress in the competition, overturning young amateur Mark Lloyd 4-1 in his opener before seeing off Liam Highfield 4-2 in round two.
But he ultimately came unstuck at the hands of World Championship semi-finalist Gary Wilson, who edged a close-fought encounter 4-3, which Perry had seemingly had in control at 3-2.
The world No.16 was left ruing missed chances at the table and – should fortune have fallen his way – felt a place in the latter stages could have been his.
“The game summed up how the week’s gone for me really,” he said. “I was good in parts but made a few silly errors and one in the last frame ultimately cost me.
“The match was really scrappy to start with and when I went 3-2 up I felt good. The match was mine for the taking.
“But you can’t miss the easy balls when you’re in and I had a chance but missed an easy red.
“I had a bit of bad luck, and on another day things would’ve worked out. It just wasn’t meant to be and I’ll move on to the next one.”
Despite his exit from the tournament in Crawley, Perry maintained he is still a match for the world’s best and is looking forward to testing his credentials again with Championship League and World Open action on the horizon before the end of the month.
He said: “I tried hard throughout this tournament and I was getting better round-by-round. If I had capitalised on my chances I would’ve felt strong going into the last 16.
“I’ve been playing for so long now that it’s very rare I’m poor and I always give someone a game whether I’m on top form or not. With the tournaments coming thick and fast I know I’ve always got a good shout of doing well.”
Former world champion Neil Robertson also crashed out of the competition, falling 4-0 at the hands of Chinese world No 52 Zhao Xintong.
The 37-year-old had cruised through to the third round, and stressed his exit was down to being unable to successfully adapt to playing on one of the venue’s side tables.
“It’s a completely different game,” he said. “It’s hard to explain without making excuses, but it’s a lot harder for me to get used to those conditions than it would’ve been for him if we’d played on the main table.”
Watch the English Open live on Eurosport and Eurosport Player with studio analysis from Ronnie O’Sullivan and Jimmy White