It would be a huge understatement to say I was disappointed with my performance at the English Open.
I lost 4-0 in the first round to Aditya Mehta and was genuinely embarrassed by how I played. I just couldn’t get my game going at all and got exactly what I deserved.
Straight after the match I was sent in to do an interview and it really was tough. I understand all the media obligations that come with playing professional sport, but there are certain matches where you just want to escape. All us players are human after all and right then it was just such a low as the defeat in came in a tournament where I had high hopes of doing well.
But you can’t dwell on these things too long – and it’s onto the next one now.
I’m now in Daqing ready to play Joe Perry in the International Championship and hoping to put in a good performance to bounce straight back.
I’m under no illusions as to how tough this match is going to be. Joe has so much experience and is probably the hardest player to beat in practice.
I’ve been lucky enough to spend some time at Joe’s club in Cambridge as part of my preparations for recent events. He’s always been really welcoming and although I’ve managed to nick a few sets, he’s often come out on top.
But playing players of Joe’s experience and other people who above me in the rankings is what I much prefer. It’s so much better for your development to test yourself against the best.
Even if you get battered the first few times, it’s important to keep coming back and knowing that eventually you will improve and win.
I’ll be doing everything I can to get a win here in China and build on my victory against Thepchaiya Uh-Nooh in qualifying. Thanks as always for the support