Joe Perry rues display after Betway UK Championship quarter-final exit
By Ross Lawson
Joe Perry was left ruing a golden opportunity after his “rubbish” performance saw him dumped out of the Betway UK Championship.
Perry lost 6-4 to China’s Lu Ning in Milton Keynes and was far from happy with his game, feeling that a chance to reach the tournament semi-finals for the first time since 2005 went begging.
Lu led 3-1 before the Englishman fought back with the next three frames – but thereon it went horribly wrong against the lower-ranked player.
“I was good in the middle of the game – apart from that, I was rubbish,” he admitted.
“I’ve had a decent career, sometimes the pressure has really told on me and I haven’t been able to stand up to it, and tonight I’ve just collapsed from 4-3 up.
“I played a terrible frame and couldn’t get it back together. I could have been 5-4 up and I really missed opportunities.
“My long-pot success was 17 per cent – you can’t win league matches with that, let alone the quarter-finals of the UK Championships.
“I’m disappointed, it was a great opportunity. Lu wasn’t playing the way he had been and there was a chance in that match.
“I got on top and he was gone, completely gone, but I let him off and got what I deserved.
“I had more than enough chances to win and didn’t take them.”
Losing out to a lower-ranked and far less experienced player made the defeat particularly difficult to take for Perry, UK Championship quarter-finalist in three of the past four seasons.
But there was no doubt in his mind about where the match went wrong.
Now it is all about getting himself together for the Scottish Open, which begins in the same Milton Keynes venue behind closed doors on Monday.
He added: “Once I get over the initial devastation of losing a game I should never have lost, I’ll be alright.
“There have been some positives over the week, at 3-1 down I was showing glimpses and I started to play some good stuff.
“I stamped my authority on the match, showed everyone who the better player was and, for some reason, I stopped playing at 4-3.
“At 4-4 I was feeling more of the pressure and it showed.
“Through my whole career, my long game hasn’t been good enough and when that puts extra pressure on you as it did tonight, it just puts extra pressure on you.
“It’s painful. Modern snooker is all about long potting – Neil Robertson was phenomenal with that. He’s one of the best players to have played the game but if he had my long game, he’d struggle to win a tournament.”