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Joe Perry proved why he is known as the Gentleman in the snooker world after losing his Masters quarter-final 6-3 to Shaun Murphy.
The 45-year-old showed resolve to win crucial frames and stay in the contest, keeping Murphy in sight when he took 3-1 and 5-2 leads.
But Perry made no excuses in reflecting on the match after Murphy wrapped things up, laying the blame at his own door despite a number of unlucky breaks that did not go his way.
“I struggled out there today,” he conceded.
“I felt comfortable, it wasn’t nerves - I didn’t succumb to the pressure or anything like that - I felt good.
“I just felt myself chasing the cue ball round the table. We play hours and hours and you expect the cue ball to go in a certain place and it wasn’t finishing where I expected it to today.
“The table played a little bit tough, was a bit heavy, a bit fast in places. Just simple, straightforward positional shots I was messing up.
“It was just stopping me getting any real momentum, any real rhythm and I just battled on as hard as I could.
“There’s an old cliche and it seems to be true in our game: the balls don’t forgive you.
“You make unforced errors, miss silly balls, you tend to get punished, not only by your opponent, but also the snooker gods as well.
“It didn’t go my way, when I tried to get some rhythm going, up the tempo a little bit, went into the pack a few times, never landed.
“Sometimes that’s what it’s all about, fractions, and on another day you get on a ball, go on to make a frame-winning break, get your rhythm, get your confidence, but it was just too stop-start today.”
Despite being unable to replicate the form that took him all the way to the final at Alexandra Palace back in 2017, Perry says that he will immediately compartmentalise the defeat and look to the future.
“I’m having a good season, I got to the Masters, I enjoyed it,” he continued.
“There’s so much to look forward to, big tournaments coming up, the World Championships.
“There’s just so much to look forward to being a snooker player now. I’ve lost hundreds of matches and this is just another one of them, so it won’t bother me.
“I’ll be going home, seeing everyone and raring to go at the German Masters.”
Watch the London Masters LIVE on Eurosport and Eurosport Player with analysis from Ronnie O'Sullivan, Jimmy White and Neal Foulds.