Joe Perry insists he is a title contender after cruising past James Wattana in the first round of the UK Snooker Championship in York yesterday (November 25)
The Chatteris cueman proved far too strong for veteran Wattana as he made three half-century breaks en route to a 6-1 triumph at the Barbican Centre.
The world number 10 finally ended his long wait for a ranking event title by winning the Players Championship Grand Final last March and on yesterday’s form should be a contender in York over the next fortnight.
And Perry is adamant there is plenty more to come after a solid but unspectacular display.
“It was all right – it was decent enough although there were a few errors and silly misses from me but some good clearances as well,” he said.
“I think I missed the easiest ball I’ve ever missed as a professional today as well. It was over the hole but I was in three or four different minds and forgot to pot the red.
“It can’t have been more than two or three inches from the pocket but it made me laugh at least!
“I’m confident of doing well in every tournament if my form’s there, which it is at the moment, and I’m comfortable with how I’m playing – I feel good.”
Wattana’s best years may have come in the early 1990s – when he won three ranking events in a four-year span – but Perry’s efficiency was still impressive.
The victory set up a second-round tie with either Mitchell Mann or Robbie Williams on Saturday evening and the 41-year-old says there was a particularly special reason he wanted to reach at least round two.
“I’m hopefully bringing my daughter Lexi up here for the second round because she’s heading up with my mum to do some Christmas shopping,” added Perry.
“She’s nine and she’s never seen me play before so today was important for that. I wanted her to be here for Saturday night to see me play for the first time.
“I think she’s more excited about the Christmas shopping but it’ll be nice for her to see me play! I’ll look forward to that.”
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