SNOOKER: Chatteris cueman through to face former world champion

Joe Perry is through to the third round of the Welsh Open in Cardiff.

Joe Perry is through to the third round of the Welsh Open in Cardiff.

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Joe Perry concedes it was far from a vintage performance that saw him into the last 32 of the Welsh Open last night (February 16) and admits he will have to improve in order to go any further at the event.

The Chatteris cueman made just one half-century but still beat Li Hang 4-2 in the second round at the Motorpoint Arena.

That sets up a third-round clash with 1997 world champion Ken Doherty today (February 17, from 10.30am)) and despite Perry expecting a real examination from the Irishman, he was just relieved to make it through round two.

“I was just pleased to win. Sometimes you just have to be grateful that you got to four frames first,” said Perry.

“It wasn’t very good – a couple of breaks, but it was very bitty snooker. It wasn’t even good matchplay, it was just about who made the least mistakes basically.

“Ken will be a good test for me and it will be one I would be really happy to come through.

“When you beat any former world champion, especially one who is still playing at a decent level, it is a good win.

“I’ll probably be favourite because of our rankings, but I know it’s going to be a real tough one.”

The Welsh Open is being shown live on Eurosport all week and Eurosport’s expert line-up includes five-time world champion Ronnie “The Rocket” O’Sullivan, six-time World Championship finalist Jimmy “The Whirlwind” White, 1986 world champion Joe Johnson and former world No.3 Neal Foulds.

Perry (41) has won five of the 14 matches he has contested with Doherty, a man five years his senior, and despite a 32-place ranking advantage, is anticipating a tricky clash.

“Ken is a great player and over the last few months he seems to have picked his form up a little bit and began knocking a few breaks in,” added Perry.

“With the tournaments he has won over the years, you don’t forget how to play snooker. You might lose a little bit of confidence, but he seems to have it back now.

“He had a good win over David Gilbert in the last round, so I will have to play well to win.

“He’s a very dangerous opponent – if his confidence is there and he’s scoring then he is as tough as anyone to beat.

“He knows all the shots and won’t be frightened to get over the winning line, so I will have to up my game to win.”

PLEASE LEAVE IN FINAL PAR – Eurosport is the Home of Snooker, showing 19 tournaments per season, including the World Championship, UK Championship, Welsh Open and the Masters, as well as the exclusive series ‘The Ronnie O’Sullivan Show’.