EXCLUSIVE: Fenland snooker star Joe Perry talks of life after world championship
THE eyes of the world were on Chatteris-based snooker star Joe Perry last week. The 33-year-old, nicknamed the Gentleman, came desperately close to reaching the final of the snooker World Championships at the Crucible, Sheffield. Perry lost 17-15 in a se
THE eyes of the world were on Chatteris-based snooker star Joe Perry last week.
The 33-year-old, nicknamed the Gentleman, came desperately close to reaching the final of the snooker World Championships at the Crucible, Sheffield.
Perry lost 17-15 in a sensational semi-final against Ali Carter.
He pulled off a stunning 13-12 quarter-final win over an in form world No. 3 Stephen Maguire, who many tipped to win the tournament.
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Ronnie O'Sullivan beat Carter 18-8 in the final.
Perry spoke to reporter Adam Lazzari from his home in Chatteris this week.
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Adam Lazzari: Congratulations on reaching the semi-finals Joe. But it must have been devastating to lose when you were so close to the final.
What's been going through your mind since the tournament finished?
Joe Perry: It's always disappointing to lose any match but losing in the semi-final of the World Championships is really tough to take. I've been trying not to think about it.
I've not been to practise and I've not wanted to be anywhere near a snooker table. I've just been through three weeks of intensive tournament play which has been quite mentally and emotionally draining so I'm just taking a break now and spending time with family and friends.
AL: Was there any stage in the tournament when you believed you could become a world champion?
JP: I always try to keep level headed and never got carried away with the thought of becoming a world champion.
When you know that Ronnie O'Sullivan is still in the same tournament as you, you are always up against it. I've played Ronnie a few times and still haven't got the better of him. No player in the world can boast a positive record against Ronnie.
AL: How do you cope with the enormous pressure you are under?
JP: Pressure is a funny thing. It can overwhelm some people and make them fall apart but I've been a professional snooker player for 17 years and I've just learnt to deal with it. I became a father 20 months ago and that has given me perspective and made me realise there are more important things in life than snooker. I've coped with pressure a lot better since then.
AL: Do you feel that you've learnt anything from the World Championships?
JP: I've definitely gained some self belief, particularly by beating Stephen Maguire. He's been in great form and people saw him as the only man out there who could beat Ronnie O'Sullivan.
Beating Stephen put a few things to bed for me, and got some monkeys off my back. I play in a lot of tournaments that people don't know about and we only get a couple of chances to show everybody what we're about. Some people just think about the top few players in the world. But with myself and Ali Carrter reaching the semi-final, it just shows that there are several talented players out there.
AL: have you set yourself any targets?
JP: I'm not a target orientated person. I just practise hard and do my best and always go out to win every game I play in.
AL: How often do you practise?
JP: I treat snooker like a normal job. I practise for five, sometimes six days a week for anything from three to six hours a day.
AL: How do you relax and what do you do away from the snooker table?
JP: I spend time with my daughter Lexie and wife Jo and I also have lots of family and friends in and around Chatteris. I go to the pub and play golf and just do normal things that most people do.
I'm a big Arsenal fan so I go and watch them when I get a chance.