Joe Perry kicked off what might turn out to be a long chain of upsets at the 2020 Masters after taking out Ding Junhui with a 6-3 win in the first round on Sunday. The game which was played at the Alexandra Palace was supposed to be a one-sided affair in favor of Junhui but it was world number 16, Perry who came out tops instead.
Ding Junhui came into the game off the back of a fourth Triple Crown title win he claimed sometime last month, after triumphing at the UK Championship. However, his performances and its resulting output was only a shadow of what one would expect of the Chinese number one. Consequently. Perry’s confidence waxed stronger and stronger as the game advanced.
Perry, 45, whose last appearance at the Masters was a memorable one, running all the way through to the finals before being swept by veteran Ronnie O’Sullivan, took charge of the encounter and never allowed his Chinese opponent take the lead.
After sharing the first six frames evenly, it looked like the game was going down to the wire. However, Perry swept through the remainder frames, turning what looked like a nervy contest into a one-sided affair.
His breaks of 93, 83 and 71 was just enough to swing the victory tag in his direction. With that win, he secured a spot in the last eight of the competition, at the expense of the 2011 Masters Champion.
Perry has become somewhat a familiar foe for Junhui. Putting things in perspective, this is the third time that the Chinese will be losing to the 45-year-old Perry at this event. The Masters has continuously reared its head as a stomping ground for Junhui, 32. Indeed, the 32-year-old has not even managed three wins on the bounce at the venue.
Perry’s place in this year’s edition of the event was only confirmed when he latched on to a spot in the top-16 elite world ranking.
The Englishman is now in danger of facing another former Masters winner in the next round of the event. The former ranking event winner could face either of Judd Trump or Shawn Murphy in the last-eight of the 2020 Masters competition.