Phil Haigh ✍️
Neil Robertson refused to make any excuses after losing in the last 32 of the UK Championship to his old friend Joe Perry in York.
The Gentleman beat the Aussie 6-2 at the Barbican, making a century and four more half-centuries in an impressive victory over the world number two.
Robertson was struggling with illness, but the Masters champion would not take anything away from Perry, saying that if you turn up to play then there can be no excuses.
‘He played very well when he was in the balls. He was deadly in the balls, played very well with any kind of chance when he was in amongst them,’ Robertson told the BBC of Perry.
Asked if he was feeling okay, he said: ‘You get your cue out of the case, you’re fit, no excuses.
‘It’s irrelevant. If I felt 100 per cent every single match you play you’d win all the time.
‘I tried my best, i think I did pretty well to get a couple of frames back, tried to give it absolutely everything, then who knows, with a few days off you’ve got time to recover.
‘But no, Joe played really well in the balls, I’d have to be at my absolute best to win today.’
Perry had beaten Chinese youngster Yuan Sijun and then whitewashed Graeme Dott 6-0 in qualifying, so was delighted to continue playing so well in the main stages.
‘Really pleased with the way I played, carried on some form from my last qualifying match,’ said the 48-year-old.
‘You never know if the form is going to stay there, totally different set-up and there are nerves, even at my age.
‘I tried to be more positive, even though I won the Welsh Open last year it was probably one of my worst seasons in terms of the other events, just not consistent at all. I got too critical of myself. I watch the best players in the world, they make mistakes. Even after all these years I’m still learning, you can’t play perfectly all the time, just get on with it.’
Perry now goes on to face either Stuart Bingham or Liam Highfield in the last 16.
For Robertson, he has now not won a game at the UK Championship since lifting the trophy in 2020, after losing in round one to John Astley last year.
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