Joe Perry hopes his Masters performance has proved he is capable of challenging at the top

Joe Perry. Photo: Tai Chengzhe/World Snooker

Joe Perry. Photo: Tai Chengzhe/World Snooker - Credit: Archant

Chatteris cueman Joe Perry hopes that his Dafabet Masters heroics will strike fear into his competitors.

The 42-year-old fell agonisingly short of his first Triple Crown success after he was pipped 10-7 by Ronnie O’Sullivan on Sunday, but Perry is hoping his impressive performance has shown the snooker world what he is capable of.

“A lot of the elite players like Ronnie have that intimidation factor about them but I think a lot of players lower down the rankings have looked at me as a good opponent over the years,” he said,

“When you get back to winning games it puts doubt into the opponent’s minds when you face them. Hopefully they’ll now see me as a tough draw.”

‘The Gentleman’ displayed some of the best snooker of his 26-year career to reach his first Masters final and admitted he was disappointed to not take the crown against O’Sullivan who rarely got out of first gear.

“I didn’t feel frustrated, just a little bit disappointed because I caught Ronnie on one of those rare days when he wasn’t at his scintillating best but I couldn’t capitalize on it,” he said.

“I didn’t handle the pressure well and I think that’s probably down to a lack of experience in big finals.

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“I didn’t start the evening session well, I was a bag of nerves and Ronnie took advantage of that.

“Ultimately I gave myself too much to do and was punished.”

Perry struggled for form prior to his Masters outing - he crashed out of the Championship League after suffering five straight defeats - but says his performance at Alexandra Palace has reignited his love for the sport he had earlier admitted he “wasn’t enjoying.”

“Snooker is my life,” he said.

“I’ve never had one iota of thought about giving it up, I was just going through a bad spell that lasted longer than I’d have liked.

“It wasn’t just two or three weeks - it was about three months when I was losing matches consistently against players who I’d usually play well against.

“It does take its toll when you know you’re capable of challenging at the top and against the top players.”

Perry continued his fine recent form on Tuesday by hammering Welshman David Johnson 5-0 in the first round of qualifying for the China Open, and is putting the finishing touches on preparations for the World Grand Prix, which kicks off on February 6.

“I played the best I’ve played in a long time in qualifying, so it’s good to keep the form going,” Perry said.

“I’ll have the rest of this week off but then it’s straight back to the practise table ahead of the Grand Prix, which I’m really looking forward to.”