Joe Perry was left rueing a sluggish opening as nemesis Robert Milkins finally took head-to-head bragging rights to send the world number eight crashing out of the Coral Scottish Open today (December 15)
The Chatteris potter had not suffered defeat to Milkins in seven meetings dating back to 2011, but a bad day at the office proved costly in Glasgow, knocked out with 4-1 defeat.
In truth, Perry had played a far from flawless tournament on his way to the last 32, but an in-form Milkins proved too much to handle with breaks of 55, 52 and 106.
And Perry admitted it was a defeat he contributed to far too much, a lack of clinical edge preventing him reaching the last 16 in the Emirates Arena.
“I missed a couple of easy balls early on, had a chance to put him under pressure but wasn’t able to take him,” he said.
“That was important because Robert doesn’t like playing me much – his record against me isn’t great but when I was in amongst the balls I didn’t stamp my authority.
“You can’t afford to do that, he’s been playing too well to get away with that and I was punished for it.
“He made a fantastic century and it was always going to be hard from there at 3-1, but it was the beginning that cost me.”
But the trend is not something Perry thinks is new, also losing early to Jimmy White in last week’s German Masters.
And while he is more than aware of where his problems lie, the frustration is still evident, missing out on the form that led him to a World Open final.
But with a Christmas break to come, Perry feels time on the practice table is only going to be a boost, insisting he needs to up his game heading into the New Year.
He added: “It’s been happening a lot lately, it didn’t come as a huge surprise to yet again get to 40 and break down, but I’m missing too many simple balls.
“I know I can pot them, that’s not a problem, but there are too many unforced errors that are holding me back.
“It’s just a case of knuckling down and getting more confident, I’ve had to battle too much in recent tournaments and it’s been a real struggle to win games over recent times.”
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