Joe Perry has cruised through to the second stage of Betfred World Championship Qualifying at Ponds Forge, courtesy of a 10-3 defeat of Zack Richardson.
The Gentleman has only failed to reach the Crucible two times in the previous 12 seasons. Following a magnificent run to the final of the Masters in January, few would have predicted Perry to be at Ponds Forge this year. However, with just one quarter-final showing since then, he has been unable to carry his form over.
The pair endured a drawn out session yesterday where Perry emerged with a 6-3 advantage, but today’s snooker was in stark contrast. Perry came out and attacked from the off and denied Richardson a single notch on the scoreboard. The world number 19 racked up breaks of 75, 140, 54 and 103 to breeze past the line.
“Today I thought I was just going to come out and attack and they went in,” said Perry. “Ding Junhui and Alan McManus both qualified last year and it didn’t harm them. I think confidence is a big part of snooker, far more than fatigue. If you can come through this then it can only be a good thing.
“You drive past the Crucible and you want to be there. You don’t want your season to end before the World Championship, so that is the motivation for me.”
Nigel Bond came into this week with his tour status still in the balance. However, a 10-1 defeat of Women’s World Champion NG On Yee has put the 1995 world finalist in prime position to retain his card by virtue of the one-year money list. Next up for Bond is either Stephen Maguire or Kritsanut Lertsattayathorn.
Chinese teenager Zhou Yuelong looked to be in good form, as he bids to reach the Crucible for the first time. He made eight breaks over fifty on his way to defeating Christopher Keogan 10-5.
Alfie Burden ended the Adam Duffy’s hopes of qualifying for the World Championship in his home city with a 10-6 win. Burden proved too strong for the Sheffield potter and will face Jamie Jones in the next round.
Welshman Jones completed the first Whitewash of this year’s event. He was too strong for Jamie Curtis-Barrett in a 10-0 rout.