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Joe Perry has no answer to form of Mark Williams in Welsh Open

Joe Perry has been knocked out of the Welsh Open.
Joe Perry has been knocked out of the Welsh Open.

A powerless Joe Perry admitted there was nothing he could have done to stop an inspired Mark Williams progressing into the Welsh Open fourth round at Celtic Manor.

The Cambridgeshire cueman, who trains at WT's Sports Bar in Cambridge, started well against the home favourite in Newport and a half-century break moved him into a 2-1 lead.

But a missed red in the fourth proved costly as Williams racked up 224 unanswered points across the remaining frames to keep his bid for a third Welsh Open title on track.

“It just seemed to end so quickly,” said Perry. “I was playing nicely out there and I felt comfortable, even when it came back to 2-2 after I should have gone 3-1 up.

“I had one half-loose positional shot at 2-1 and I didn’t pot another ball. But that wasn’t down to bad play, just Mark’s brilliance.

“There’s nothing you can do – he played fantastically and I did everything I could, barring one shot.

“That’s what the best players in the world can do. If you catch them on top form, they’re very hard to stop.”

Perry now faces a wait to see if he will be eligible to play in next week’s Players Championship, reserved for the top 16 players in this season’s ranking list.

The Chatteris potter is not losing any sleep over whether he will be competing in Milton Keynes but hopes his consistent campaign will culminate in April’s World Championship – which the world No 19 missed out on last season.

“If I’m at the Players Championship, it will be a bonus,” said Perry, whose best performance this season remains a quarter-final appearance at the UK Championships.

“If I’m not, I’ll keep practicing at home to keep my eye in as I’m now playing better than I was at the start of the season.

“I had a few poor results early on but since just before Christmas I’ve picked up and my form is gradually improving.

“Today was as good as I’ve felt on a match table in a long time.”

*Watch the Welsh Open live on Eurosport, Eurosport app and stream on discovery+

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