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Joe Perry rediscovers ruthless streak at UK Championship

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Joe Perry has reached the third round of the UK Championship
Joe Perry has reached the third round of the UK Championship

By Will Jennings

Joe Perry reckons rediscovering his ruthless streak propelled him into the third round of the UK Championship.

The potter, ranked world No 19 and who trains in Cambridge, continued his impressive run at the first Triple Crown event of the season to down the Igor Figueiredo 6-2 in Milton Keynes.

The 2015 Tour Championship winner has endured a bumpy start to the campaign but believes hitting his clinical straps helped book a last 32 date against world No 49 Joe O’Connor.

The 46-year-old, who next takes to the table on Tuesday evening, said: “It was better today – I was a bit more clinical when my chances came along.

“I did what I had to do, took my chances, put the pressure on him and then just had to wait to get over the line.

“I wasn’t overly confident with my game and had no form coming in, but I did alright in my first match. I was better tonight so it’s a sign that maybe form is coming back.

“It’s still a long way to go but I was a lot more clinical tonight in the balls and I took my chances better, which is what you have to do at the top level.

“Everyone gives you chances and if you don’t take them, your opponent can feed off that and they get stronger because they don’t think you’re punishing them, and the pressure’s off.

“If you watch any match, no matter who’s playing, someone will have a chance, but it’s when you don’t take those chances that it becomes difficult to win and close matches out.

“It’s important that when the chances come, you take them. You can’t win every frame in one visit but it’s important that you don’t miss easy balls when you’re in and you keep the pressure on your opponent. I was a bit better at that today.”

Perry, a two-time semi-finalist at the prestigious UK Championship, breezed past Maltese player Alex Borg 6-0 in the first round and continued where he left off against world No 82 Figueiredo.

The Cambridgeshire player fired in five half-century breaks and while the Brazilian made a fourth frame visit of 51, it was not enough to stop the Perry train rolling.

Perry will meet O’Connor under the Marshall Arena lights on Tuesday, who stunned world No.15 Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 6-3 in his last 64 match on Sunday.

It is back to Chatteris for veteran Perry first, before descending on Milton Keynes once more for a tilt at a place in the last 16.

“I’m playing in the afternoon on Tuesday, so I’ll be heading back on Monday night and will stay in Milton Keynes,” he added.

“I’ll prepare properly, be fresh and hopefully play good on Tuesday.”

*Watch the UK Championship LIVE on Eurosport and Eurosport app. Follow all the latest tournament news on Eurosport.co.uk

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