Joe Perry reacted with fury at his shock exit from the UK Championships yesterday (November 28).
Perry, the world number 10, was beaten 6-3 in the second round by world number 56 Robbie Williams in York, but he took careful aim at his slow-playing, negative opponent after the match.
Perry told www.worldsnooker.com: “It was honestly the most bored I’ve been in a snooker match. “I don’t want to be too disrespectful, but what do you get out of playing like that? I was bored after two frames. It’s a massive event and I know he’s trying hard and good luck to him.
“I remember somebody once said watching a game of snooker was like pulling teeth, but this was worse. The style and speed of play was a joke. It’s something the game needs to address if we’re going to get new fans and sponsors.
“It’s not about having a shot clock. Players need to change their mentality. You need to go out and try and win rather than try not to lose. I think it’s put my daughter off for life though because she was probably fast asleep up there watching that.
“It’s just not the way to play snooker. At my time in my career it’s about enjoying snooker and if I have to play like that every time I come out then it won’t be long before I call it a day. I love the game but that’s not fun – it’s just hard work.”
Perry compiled breaks of 69 and 101 as he fought back from 2-0 down to 2-2, but the interval came just as he had gained some momentum. He added a 59 break to make it 3-3 before Williams won three frames in a row to seal the best win of his career.
Merseysider Williams saidd: “In the first few frames I thought I played quite positive to be honest. I’ve heard from him in the past that he doesn’t like slow or negative play. I wasn’t a bad sportsman, I thought that was the game I needed to play for the win.
“It’s not cheating, it’s matchplay. You want to beat your opponent and you do it anyway you can. I thought I played more positive than I ever have done. That shows you how negative my game is, I suppose.
“It’s probably the best win of my career considering it’s the UK Championship and it’s someone like Joe. It’s definitely given me a lot of confidence going forward.”