Joe Perry won through to the last 32 of the Betway UK Championship last night (November 27) but only by dragging his opponent down.
The Chatteris potter has been struggling for form in recent times and was nowhere near his best, despite beating China’s Xiao Guodong 6-4 at the York Barbican.
Xiao raced into a 4-1 lead and looked set for 5-1 with a break of 56, only for Perry to snatch that frame and steadily claw himself back into contention.
The world number nine pinched a string of close frames and eventually booked his place in the third round with a break of 84, although he is still scratching his head as to how.
“I can’t believe I’m still in. To play that badly and win is just terrible,” said Perry.” I’d love to sit here and say ‘what an amazing comeback’ but I basically just dragged him down!
“I don’t beat myself up but if I hadn’t been on such a bad run of form, I could take some positives out of that. However, I still can’t.
“I can’t remember the last time I put together a real solid match and came out the victor against someone who was potting a lot of balls.
“There’s still a long way to go and the main positive is I’m still in. My attitude has been good and hopefully that can bring me some success.”
Next up for Perry is a clash with 2003 UK Champion Matthew Stevens on Tuesday afternoon and although the Welshman has slipped down the rankings in recent times, the 42-year-old is still expecting a fierce test.
“We’ve played loads of massive games over the years,” added Perry. “I’ve played Matthew when he was at his best and he is just a tremendous player.
“I speak for everyone on the tour when I say we know how good Matthew is and he’s still capable of being a top 16 player.
“It’s nice to see him winning a few matches again but he’s someone I have to beat on Tuesday.”
Follow the UK Championship LIVE on Eurosport with Colin Murray, Jimmy White, Neal Foulds and Ronnie O’Sullivan.