Joe Perry launches his Betfred World Championship bid tonight (April 20) insisting a disastrous trip to China last month has not damaged his confidence.
Perry suffered a first-round defeat in Beijing, scoring just 38 points in a 5-0 loss to world number 77 Alfie Burden.
It was far from ideal preparation for the Crucible, but the Chatteris cueman believes his vast experience of playing in the top tournament will stand him in good stead when he kicks off against qualifier Kyren Wilson at 7pm.
The 41 year-old world number 10, who reached the semi-finals of the Champion of Champions, Welsh Open and World Grand Prix this season, said: “China was horrendous – probably the worst I’ve had as a professional.
“But I’m putting it down to just one of those strange games that can happen sometimes.
“It was just so disappointing I had to go all the way to China to experience it, but it hasn’t affected my confidence in the slightest.”
Perry will be making his 14th appearance at the Crucible and knows excatly what to expect.
“The matches are longer and you’ve got to be mentally alert and focused – especially in today’s snooker.
“When I got to the semi-finals (in 2008), I still remember how drained I was after those two weeks,” said Perry.
“There are lots of people capable of winning the world title, but very few will.”
Perry not only knows a fair bit about the venue and the pressure involved but he also faces a familiar player in his first-round match.
He has mentored world number 19 Wilson, who won his first ranking title in the Shanghai Masters back in September.