Joe Perry snooker
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Joe Perry – ‘snooker is tough, mentally I’m finding it very difficult lately’

Joe Perry suffered an early defeat at the International Championship qualifiers to prolong what has been a testing 2023/24 snooker season so far.

The Englishman struggled to replicate his top form again as he was downed 6-3 by Dylan Emery at the Ponds Forge International Sports Centre on Tuesday.

Perry has now lost at the round of 128 hurdle in four successive ranking events.

The Gentleman was defeated by Sanderson Lam at the British Open preliminaries and was then heavily beaten by Mark Davis and Aaron Hill in the English and Wuhan Opens respectively.

Following his reverse to Emery, Joe Perry wrote on social media platform X: “Snooker is tough and mentally I’m finding it very difficult lately.”

“Big shout out to my sponsors and also all my supporters and friends in Spain and at home for the support.

“I’ll continue to work hard to get through this.”

Perry is still ranked as high as number 24 on the official two-year rankings list, but the 49 year-old is undoubtedly enduring one of his roughest periods.

The indifferent run of form could arguably be traced back to the World Championship in April, when Perry squandered a 7-2 lead against Robert Milkins in a painful first-round defeat.

For Emery, it was a positive result for the young Welshman who also beat Noppon Saengkham at the same stage of the English Open earlier this month.

Elsewhere on day two of the International Championship qualifiers in Sheffield, there were victories for David Gilbert and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh.

The latter lost just a single frame as he dismantled the challenge of Andrew Higginson, while Gilbert thrashed James Cahill 6-0.

There was another bagel scoreline with Cao Yupeng compiling a 111 break during his thumping of Ashley Hugill.

Anthony McGill, Tom Ford, and Matthew Stevens all advanced as well, but they were each made to work much harder for their spots in Tianjin.

McGill won the last four frames to overcome Alfie Burden 6-3 while there were 6-4 triumphs for Ford and Stevens against Stan Moody and Liu Hongyu respectively.

Among the others to safely progress to the last 64 in November were David Grace, Stuart Carrington, and Sanderson Lam.

On Wednesday, the qualifying stage continues with former world champions Graeme Dott and Stuart Bingham among those in action.

International Championship: qualifying draw and schedule

Times in BST

Monday, September 18

Stephen Maguire 6-2 Peng Yisong
Wu Yize 3-6 Ross Muir
Tian Pengfei 6-3 Stephen Hendry
Yuan Sijun 5-6 Long Zehuang

Michael White 6-3 Himanshu Jain
Ryan Day 6-1 Mink Nutcharut
Jackson Page 6-3 Liam Graham
Mark Joyce 6-3 Andy Lee

Barry Hawkins 6-0 Andrew Pagett
Matthew Selt 6-1 Jimmy White
Robbie Williams 6-3 Ben Mertens
Jordan Brown 6-5 Sean O’Sullivan

Tuesday, September 19

Xu Si 4-6 Stuart Carrington
Cao Yupeng 6-0 Ashley Hugill
Thepchaiya Un-Nooh 6-1 Andrew Higginson
Matthew Stevens 6-4 Liu Hongyu

Joe Perry 3-6 Dylan Emery
David Grace 6-2 Jenson Kendrick
David Gilbert 6-0 James Cahill
Andy Hicks 2-6 Sanderson Lam

Tom Ford 6-4 Stan Moody
Anthony McGill 6-3 Alfie Burden

Wednesday, September 20

Xiao Guodong 6-4 Ishpreet Singh
Sam Craigie 6-1 Thor Chuan Leong
Stuart Bingham 6-0 Xing Zihao
Zhang Anda 6-3 Alexander Ursenbacher

Jimmy Robertson 6-2 Anton Kazakov
Noppon Saengkham 6-3 Victor Sarkis
Graeme Dott 4-6 Liam Pullen

Hossein Vafaei 6-1 Reanne Evans
Gary Wilson 6-0 Mohamed Ibrahim
Mark Davis 6-4 Rod Lawler

Thursday, September 21

Mark Allen 6-2 Ma Hailong
Jack Lisowski 6-3 He Guoqiang
Lyu Haotian 6-5 David Lilley
Fan Zhengyi 6-2 Mostafa Dorgham

Elliot Slessor 6-2 Hammad Miah
Kyren Wilson 6-3 Adam Duffy
Mark Selby 6-2 Muhammad Asif

Jamie Jones 6-4 Ashley Carty
Mark Williams 6-0 Rebecca Kenna

Friday, September 22

Robert Milkins 4-6 Marco Fu
Si Jiahui 6-5 Julien Leclercq
Jamie Clarke 5-6 John Astley
Dominic Dale 6-3 Oliver Brown

Joe O’Connor 6-1 Baipat Siripaporn
Ali Carter 6-2 Allan Taylor
Shaun Murphy 6-1 Andres Petrov

John Higgins 6-1 Manasawin Phetmalaikul
Neil Robertson 6-4 Ryan Thomerson
Chris Wakelin 6-0 Dean Young

Saturday, September 23

Ricky Walden 6-1 Jiang Jun
Scott Donaldson 6-4 Louis Heathcote
Pang Junxu 6-3 Zak Surety

Oliver Lines 6-4 Lukas Kleckers
Jak Jones 6-2 Aaron Hill
Liam Highfield 2-6 Daniel Wells

Heldover Fixtures

Sunday, November 5

Judd Trump vs wildcard
Ronnie O’Sullivan vs Ken Doherty
Luca Brecel vs Ahmed Aly Elsayed
Ding Junhui vs Ian Burns
Zhou Yuelong vs Martin O’Donnell
Anthony Hamilton vs wildcard
Ben Woollaston vs wildcard

Featured photo credit: WST


  1. I once saw Joe Perry in a World Championship match in Pond’s Forge, where he laid a brilliant snooker on the pink, behind black which was only 2 inches from the cushion. After the resulting foul, Perry potted a long pink, white off 3 cushions to land parallel to the black. He’d won the match 10-1. His young opponent (now relegated from the tour) put his cue away, spoke to nobody, headed out of the arena and away into Sheffield, his career over. But that’s sport. Anyone who competes knows that, and if happy to enjoy the excitement and achievement of winning, must also be prepared for the rough times.

    The systemic problem is that in snooker you’re either on the Tour, playing in all the events, or you’re off it, playing in none. You can’t take time out, or ‘transition’ into retirement. Rod Lawler put it very well after his ‘gap’ year: “I tried playing in Pro-Ams and Seniors’ events, but it was not the same”. These guys are addicted to competition, and it’s as much about fighting the addiction as it is the frustration of loss of form.

  2. This also shows how quickly things change. Only 18 months ago Perry had turned his career around with victory at the Welsh Open, a highlight of his long career. He’s now treading a dangerous path as eventually the points for winning in Wales will be coming off early next year.

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