Wednesday, 13 February 2013

May the best Gentleman win

Joe 'the Gentleman' Perry has a habit of going quietly about his business on tour - but today he said his piece loud and clear.

No-one gave him a prayer as he lined up to face world number one Mark Selby in the opening round of the Welsh Open. Fresh from a virtuoso demolition job on Steve Davis, Selby came into the match on fire and Perry wasn't being given a sniff of a chance.

But he showed what playing at venues is all about: taking your chances.

Perry's performance was, as always, no fuss and no nonsense. He sunk balls fluently and proved he's capable of beating anyone should he be given the chances.

When you watch Perry in full flow, it's difficult to understand why he has never won a ranking event. He strikes the ball sweetly and quickly strings together high breaks.

The amount of tournaments being played these days means things can quickly change. Just before Christmas I visited Gloucester and saw him lose to amateur Oliver Lines in the UKPTC3 event. He looked out of form and frustrated with the state of his game.

Confidence is something which has arguably held him back throughout his career, but he's been around the block and seen plenty so knows to believe in himself when he gets the opportunity. He looked to be back on song now.

Perry is still one of a clutch of players who can pose a big threat on their day to the very top established players. There's a possibility the draw here in Newport could open up nicely Joe and he could put together a decent run.

He is one of four players left in the tournament sponsored by the South West Snooker Academy's On Q Promotions in Gloucester.    

He's enjoyed a great victory today and now has the chance to build on it.

Last 16 line-up:

Tom Ford v Ken Doherty
Graeme Dott v Pankaj Advani
Stephen Maguire v Matthew Stevens
Neil Robertson v Stuart Bingham
Ding Junhui v Mark Allen
Judd Trump v Andrew Higginson
Alan McManus v Joe Perry
Sam Baird v Robert Milkins

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