No moaning is the secret to upturn in form, says snooker ace

Joe Perry says letting go of his frustration about not enjoying himself is the secret to reaching the quarter-finals of the UK Championship.

The Chatteris cueman didn’t get past the third round in the first four tournaments of the season, organised in World Snooker’s Covid-secure bubble in Milton Keynes.

Perry said he’s no longer anxious about the lack of player’s lounge chat and it paid off at Triple Crown level with a 6-3 last 16 win over Jamie Jones on Wednesday, December 3.

“I always practice hard, but I’ve practiced harder and my practice has been better,” Perry said.

“I think the upturn in form is more to do with the fact that I’ve stopped moaning about the fact I’ve stopped enjoying myself, moaning that I couldn’t spent time with my mates.

“I used to like having a chat at breakfast and have a giggle with the boys. I can’t do that, so I’m turning up, playing and going home which isn’t what I’ve done my whole career.

“I was probably feeling sorry for myself and putting bad results down to the fact that I wasn’t enjoying my snooker.

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“It’s all about me enjoying my snooker. I’ve spent a few months struggling with it, but I’ve made a conscious effort to start enjoying it, and winning certainly helps.”

Perry battled his way past the Welshman as the pair traded jabs in the first session, before the 46-year-old recorded back-to-back half-century breaks only to find Jones level at 2-2.

The crucial frame was the sixth, when Perry reeled off a 58 break and Jones struggled to settle.

Perry then won the final four frames to set up a quarter-final tie with either Lu Ning or Pang Junxu.

The Fenland potter has managed to avoid the likes of Mark Selby, Judd Trump and Neil Robertson in the last eight, but is expecting a tough challenge from whoever he faces.

“On paper, I’ll be favourite but I’ve seen the two of them play this week and you can’t fail to be impressed,” Perry added.

“The draw has opened up, there’s no getting away from it, but you’ve still got to beat those players.

“Sometimes draws look good, but it doesn’t mean there’s an easy game and it never feels easy when you’re out there.”

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